Lodging & Travel
Traveling is one way that people encounter bed bugs and end up bringing them back to their home.
If you are going to be staying away from home, consider the following tips:
- Before settling into your hotel/motel room, check the room for signs of bed bugs.
- Keep your luggage and other belongings away from the bed area and walls. These are common areas for bed bugs to be hiding.
- Avoid using the closet or drawers to store your items. It is safest if the items are kept in your suitcase until needed.
- Consider packing a plastic bag to store dirty laundry in to keep your items off the floor and keep bed bugs out.
Once you return home, there are a few additional precautions that you can take to avoid possibly bringing bed bugs in.
- Before bringing your items inside, prepare a place to unpack. Avoid unpacking directly on furniture or carpet!
- Lay out a sheet or piece of plastic to unpack your items onto. This will allow you to easily spot bed bugs or eggs that may drop off of your suitcase or its contents.
- Immediately place all laundry items, even if dirty, into the dryer on high heat for 20-30 minutes. This heat will kill all stages of bed bugs, including eggs, that may be in your clothing.
- Check your suitcase carefully for signs of bed bugs. Pay special attention to the zippers, pockets, folds, and the wheels/feet.
- If you traveled with a soft-sided bag that can withstand heat, place in the dryer on high heat for 20-30 minutes.
- For hard-sided suitcases, vacuum all surfaces (inside and outside) with a crevice tool. Pay special attention to pockets, folds, seams, and zippers. You can also use a lint roller or wipe down with a damp cloth to dislodge eggs or bugs.
If bed bugs are found in a Missouri lodging facility, a complaint can be reported in any of the following ways:
- Contact the local city or county health department where the facility is located
- Submit an online Lodging Complaint Form
- Contact the Lodging Licensing Program at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), at 573-751-6095
For more resources about bed bugs related to traveling, refer to the following: