How to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you


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What’s better than taking home souvenirs from your vacation? Not a whole lot, unless they’re unwanted and hitch a ride back to your home without your consent.

We’re talking bed bugs. And you’re not only at risk from the comfort of your own home.

So in honor of Spring Break, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has your checklist to make sure you don’t bring home the little terrors from your hotel.

  • Inspect your hotel room before you unpack your clothes. That includes behind the headboard and in the furniture. Check under the sheets and mattress seems for what the NPMA calls, “pepper-like stains.”
  • Keep your luggage away from the walls. And DO NOT put suitcases on the bed. Store them instead in a plastic trash bag or protective cover.
  • If you suspect bed bugs are haunting your hotel room, notify management and ask for a room change ASAP. And do not let them put you in an adjacent room to the infested one you just left.
  • Post-trip, make sure you inspect and vacuum your suitcases before you bring them into your home. You can also use a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage.
  • Wash all of your clothes in hot water. And throw your unworn shirts, pants and skirts in there for good measure.


Be extra careful if you’re in Chicago, which at the moment is the No. 1 bed bug city. Check out other top-rated cities in terms of bed bug population.

And in case you need a refresher course on the disgusting pests, here’s some general information and prevention tips.