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6 Tips For Traveling Without Bed Bugs


Why do we laugh when someone says, "Don't let the bed bugs bite"? What is it about us that makes us feel the need to laugh off something that disturbs us? I was curious whether or not this phrase was birthed from this kind of weird "laugh at creepy things" mentality, so I looked it up. As it turns out, it has nothing to do with bed bugs at all. "Don't let the bed bugs bite" comes from a rhyme called Sleep Tight, that refers to an Abraham Lincoln era bed that had no boxspring. Instead, the mattress was held up by ropes. Sleep tight meant, to sleep with those ropes tight, so the bed wouldn't sink in the middle, and you would have a good night sleep. The ropes were tied around the tops of the bed posts, which were called bugs. While sleeping, people would often rest the rope between their toes, and in the night, get them pinched between the rope and the bug. And, that is what inspired the phrase.

When you go on vacation this holiday season, you won't have to worry about sleeping tight, but you will have to keep guard against bed bugs, or you may carry them back home with you. Here are 5 quick tips to keep the bed bug "insects" from biting.

  1. If you're going to be staying at a hotel or motel, no matter how opulent, be sure to see if anyone has reported it on This isn't a 100% safeguard against bed bugs, but it will get you on the right track. The registry contains posts from travelers who have been attacked by bed bugs, and they give the full account, and where the incident took place. The registry even goes one step further, to tell you if bed bugs have been found near the place you are looking to stay. I'm not exactly sure how this will help you, but it is certainly good to know.
  2. When arriving at your destination, keep your luggage and bags in the car. If it isn't convenient to leave them in the car, put them in the bathroom of your room, on the tile, until you've checked your room. Bed bugs don't like to walk around on tiled floor. They prefer rugs, and cozy environments.
  3. Peel down the covers and look for seed-like bugs. They could also look like ticks, if they are engorged with blood. If you don't see bugs, look for tiny brown dots on the pillow cases or linen. These dried blood spots are a hint that bed bugs are feeding. Check the corners and edges of the bed and box spring for black excrement deposits. And, use a flashlight to examine the backboard and any upholstered furniture in the room.
  4. If you find bed bugs, or signs of bugs, move to a new room. If you hear of someone finding bed bugs in an adjacent room, or a room above or below you, it is time to take extra precautions, or simply leave. Wrapping your luggage in plastic, hanging your clothing, and putting dirty clothes in a sealed plastic bags, will give you added protection from accidentally picking up one of these bugs.
  5. When you return home, be sure to wash and dry all your dirty clothes on the hottest temperature. Adult bed bugs, their eggs, and their larvae, cannot survive at a temperature of 120 degrees.
  6. Do one last cursory inspection of your luggage, to make sure you didn't bring any bugs home. A single female bed bug can produce over 4000 babies in a six month period, and bed bugs mature to adulthood in around thirty days. That means one bug can be thousands in a couple months.

These simple tips will help you stay bed bug free while traveling this holiday season. Enjoy!