A Guide To Avoiding Bed Bugs At Hostels
That dream of backpacking around the world can quickly turn to a nightmare upon finding some unwanted guests in the form of bed bugs.
Once the pests have taken up residence, it can take long hours and cost a lot of money to have them removed. While bed bugs can be found in extravagant hotels or resorts, those who travel on a budget by staying in hostels can be especially susceptible due to the amount of traffic these guesthouses receive. There are precautions that backpackers can take while staying in hostels to ensure they have the trip of a lifetime for all the right reasons. Here are some strategies to use to avoid encountering these pests.
Sleeping bags in hostel rooms is one of the main culprits behind the spread of bed bugs in dorm room settings. Ask potential sites about their policy toward allowing guests to use their own sleeping bags. Those that are proactive about preventing the spread will not allow outside sleeping bags on beds and will have signs posted warning that bedbugs can be hiding in the rolled up bedding.
Good hostels will provide their own bedding for guests to use free of charge. No matter what the warning signs or dangers, backpackers are more likely to use their own sleeping bags on beds if they are going to be charged for sheets by a facility on top of the room fee.
Inspect The Room
Even the best hostels can succumb to an infestation of bed bugs despite their precautions. When first entering the dorm room, inspect the room for any signs of bed bug activities. Lift the mattress, look behind framed artwork on the walls, and check in the seams of bedding. Also be sure to check under the baseboards and in any cracks in the walls. Signs include small blood spots and tiny, dark-brown stains on bedding or the upholstery of furniture.
Off The Floor
While conducting the inspection, keep backpacks or other bags off the floor. Even if no signs of bed bugs are found, keep all bags off the floor. Hang bags on hooks or place on dressers away from the walls.
If any signs are discovered, immediately alert management to the situation and ask for a different room, or consider staying in another location.
Whenever possible, launder clothing on a high heat setting, as the heat will kill any bugs that may be hiding in the fabric.
Backpacking around the world can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it should be remembered for the right reasons. Staying at a hostel is often part of that experience because of its economy. Avoiding bed bugs is possible with some precautions and will keep those memories positive.
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