How Can I Keep Bed Bugs Away While I’m Traveling?

Bed bugs travel on fabric

The primary way bed bugs spread is by hitching rides with travelers. They do that by sneaking into these travelers’ boxes, bags, and belongings while they aren’t looking. Keep a careful eye on your luggage while traveling to avoid bringing any unwanted hitchhikers on your trip with you.

Bed bugs love travelers. For these bloodsucking stowaways, every in-law in your guest room is an opportunity to see the world. Unfortunately, they won’t just leave after they’ve made themselves at home, either. The bed bugs you bring back from your travels tend to stick around. That’s why it’s so important you keep bed bugs from following you on your travels in the first place. We want to help you do that. Here are the five best ways you can avoid picking up bed bugs while you’re traveling this holiday season:

1. Keep your belongings off of the floor

Bed bugs spend most of their time looking for warm, dark, secluded places to hide. Unfortunately, those warm, dark, secluded hiding places are often luggage! If your bags are on the floor, they’ll be all-too-easy for bed bugs to get into.

Whenever you’re unpacking for the night, be sure to keep all of your traveling bags in elevated areas. Never leave anything unattended on the floor. The less accessible your bags, the harder it’ll be for bed bugs to come on your trip with you.

Do some research on where you're staying

2. Do some research on where you’re staying

Take the time to research the bed bug history of any lodging you’re planning on using. If that hotel or motel has a history of bed bug problems, chances are someone’s documented those problems online. There are even websites like the Bed Bug Registry to help ensure you find a place to stay that’s bed bug-free.

Obviously, if you’re staying at a relative’s home, this is trickier. After all, you may feel a little awkward asking them about their history with bed bugs! In these cases, we recommend you play it safe rather than sorry. Bring your own bed sheets and pillows. Make sure you store them in elevated places!

3. Choose your luggage carefully

Bed bugs love fabric. They love eating it, living in it, and burrowing into it. They’ll try to get at any fabric piece of clothing, accessory, or luggage you have. You can dissuade them from getting into your things by using a hard shell suitcase.

Hard shell suitcases are far harder to infiltrate than their soft counterparts. Just make sure you keep it shut tight when you’re not using it. Oh, and–say it with us–ELEVATE IT!

Inspect your sleeping area carefully before settling in

4. Thoroughly inspect your sleeping area before you settle in

After you arrive where you’re staying and before you unpack, follow the following steps. First, pull the comforter back on the sheets. Look for any telltale red or brown spots on sheets. Then, systematically check all the tucked-away places where bed bugs like to hide. Look under the mattress, between the mattress and box spring, behind any furniture, underneath cushions, and even in corners.

If you find bloody smears, dark brown splattering, or dried skin in likely spots, bed bugs are probably nearby. If you can, you should find another place to sleep. If you can’t leave, then you should thoroughly wash the sheets on the hottest possible setting. Do not unpack your bags or leave them on the floor.

5. Check your bags before you get back home

You should thoroughly inspect your bags after you get home and before you head back inside. Check your luggage and all its contents for any signs of bed bug infestations. Look for brown or red marks on clothing, smears in cracks and crevices, or dried shed skin.

As soon as you get back inside, throw all the fabrics you brought on your trip into your dryer. Run them through once on the highest heat setting. If you can, you should consider drying your bags and other belongings this way, too. High heat will kill any bed bugs you couldn’t see. Don’t unpack your belongings until you’re sure they’re bed bug-free!


Next time you’re vacationing, road tripping, or visiting relatives, don’t stress about the possibility of bed bugs. Instead, simply follow these tips diligently when they’re relevant and focus on having a good time. As long as you keep up with these prevention rules, you’ll shouldn’t have to worry about unwanted stowaways ever again.

Even if your trip takes a turn and you do find bed bugs, however, don’t panic! The team at Griffin Pest Solutions can find and wipe out your bed bug problem quickly, effectively, and permanently. They may have come home with you, but we’ll make sure they don’t make themselves at home. Have a safe and happy trip!

Bed Bugs: A Moving Target For Travelers

Bed bugs are highly mobile pests and as a result they possess the uncanny ability to infest a wide array of environments.BED BUG

A recent national survey of pest management professionals revealed some very unusual locations where bed bugs were found including a prosthetic leg, in a casket with a deceased body, a dance club, and on a tow boat in the Ohio River.

The point is bed bugs are a threat to strike virtually any environment and brick and mortar structures including homes, hotels, movie theaters, healthcare facilities, college dormitories and apartment/condominium complexes do not hold a monopoly on being prime bed bug real estate.

Transportation environments including trains, buses, planes, boats, taxis, and camper trailers are susceptible to bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are able to access these locations when brought in on clothing, bedding and luggage, and the numerous cracks and crevices located in these environments create ideal harborage for bed bugs.

While not a seasonal pest by any stretch, 66% of pest management professionals responding to the survey said summer is when they receive the most calls about these nasty, blood-sucking pests. This can be attributed partly to the increase in summer leisure travel when vacationers are hopping on trains and planes, checking into hotels, jumping into taxis, and packing and unpacking luggage.

Bed Bug Summer Travel Tips

  • Pack your belongings inside sealable plastic bags and bring some extra large plastic trash bags.
  • Upon arrival inspect your room for dark fecal or dried blood spots on bedding and closely examine the folds or creases of the mattress and box springs, upholstered chairs, drawers, and headboards.
  • Don’t unpack your suitcase; Only take the clothes out that you will be wearing, and don’t leave your shoes on the floor – keep everything inside your sealable plastic bags.
  • Store the luggage in the bathtub or on a tile floor. These areas are the least likely places bed bugs will be residing.
  • When you return home carefully inspect your possessions for any hitchhiking bed bugs and make sure to thoroughly check the clothing you are wearing. Unpack your bags outdoors or in the garage, and put everything that can be in the washer. For items that can’t be washed, it is recommended placing them in the dryer at the highest temperature setting for at least 10 minutes.

Griffin Pest Solutions’ clients can count on us to deliver proven, highly targeted treatments to any environment. These treatments are done using the latest products and application techniques, and are performed in a time-efficient manner to limit disruption and eliminate the infestation.

If you have questions or concerns about bed bugs call or e-mail Griffin Pest Solutions at 888/547-4334 or callcenter@ for more information and a free estimate.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite when college kids’ return

As parents and siblings look forward to returning college kids across the country, they need to do a little preventive maintenance that wasn’t so common just a few years ago.

A few extra steps to prevent a bed bug infestation will save you time, money, and trauma. College students tend to live a cluttered, communal life-style, giving bed bugs the upper-hand in hiding places and the ability to transfer and spread.
Don’t rely on your students to tell you if they have bed bugs or not, these pests can hide in the bindings of a borrowed text book, a cd-case, in objects that don’t even belong to your student. Just follow these simple tips to prevent bed bugs from taking up residence with your family this summer.

Getting ready for Homecoming
Put all “soft” materials in plastic garbage bags and close/secure tightly. – clothes, bedding, stuffed animals, pillows, anything made of cloth.
Seal backpack in plastic garbage bag. If he/she wants to use items on the way have them take out and wash thoroughly, but keep the backpack in the sealed garbage bag.
Discard used vacuum cleaner bags in an outside dumpster before putting it in any vehicle for transportation.
Put all small items like books, cds, game players, papers, and files in plastic garbage bags and close/secure tightly.

Upon Arrival
Do not bring items into the house all at once! In an orderly fashion –
Open the “soft” plastic garbage bags one at a time and launder, it is the dryer – not the washing – that will kill the insect and eggs – so you must put the contents in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest setting for the fabric. Do not skip this step.
Inspect bags with items that can’t be easily laundered. You can place them in freezers for at least 5 days – books, papers, cds. Remember to leave them inside the bags.
Electronics are trickier, you need to inspect them carefully before bringing them inside, as bed bugs are small enough to crawl inside many devices. Once inspected, you should wipe them down. If you find they are infested, do not bring them inside. Return them to a sealed bag and contact a professional to see about treatment options.
Continue Inspecting for Several Weeks
Unfortunately, these insects can be elusive and they’re eggs are almost invisible.
Look for small darkish brown/red spots on the edges of bedding, live bugs, or empty bug shells. Some people, though not all, will also begin to show reaction to bites.
Don’t panic, if you end up with bed bugs, and the reality is that bed bugs are going to be a part of our life for a long time to come, there’s help available. Call 888-547-4334, click, or live chat with one of our agents right now. We’re here to help.