What Are Bed Bugs
While traveling, many people decide to sleep over in a motel, but they are not aware they might share the bed with some new friends – bed bugs.
They are small, oval and brownish insects that survive by sucking blood of animals or humans.
Before their favorite meal – blood, they have flat bodies, but after feeding, however, their bodies swell and gain reddish color.
They do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls and ceilings. Although they are a quite annoying, they are not thought to transmit diseases.
When Do Bed Bugs Bite
They are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping.
Bed bugs feed when piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak, and feed from 3-10 minutes.
Signs Of Bed Bug Infestation
They leave behind several signs.
The first one will be by experiencing bites and waking up in the middle of the night, with an itchy sensation all over your body.
They also tend to leave other signs like rust colored stains around the corners of the mattresses, where they usually discard their outer shells, or drop their fecal matter (coming from you).
If you accidentally crush one, they will leave behind a sweetish, sharp odor that resemble rotten almonds smell.
Other signs that someone has fed from you last night is when you notice reddish and swollen welts which are itchy and quite painful.
New lesions could be seen every morning, and large blisters could develop upon scratching the bites.
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rusty spots on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
- Fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where they hide
- An Offensive, musty odor from the bugs scent glands
- If you wake up itching on certain spots and have skin rash which is an allergic reaction from the bite – YES, you have been bitten by bed bites
What To Do When Having Bed Bug Infestation
If you suspect you have home infestation, immediately:
- Remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs
- Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing
- Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame
- Also, check the area around the bed (inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets)
- Check your closet (they can attach to clothing)
- Call an exterminator, who will know what to look for and prevent their return permanently
Bed Bug Bites Treatment
Usually, the rash will appear several hours after the actual bite has occurred, and in some cases the rash may not appear even for days.
The appearance of the rash is dependent upon the individual’s allergic reaction to the bites.
Unfortunately, the bite rash does have the ability to last a lot longer if the individual has a more intense allergic reaction to the bites.
Some individuals will not have any reaction whatsoever, while others who have more sensitivity to allergies may develop rashes that cause extreme itching as they are continuously bitten nightly.
Many times medical attention will be necessary to eliminate the rash completely.
Medical Remedies To Treat Bed Bugs
Oral antihistamines and steroid creams can be used in treatment regime. These medications will help to ease the itching that is associated with the rash.
It is important to remember not to scratch the bites, because scratching the bites will ITCH MORE and lead to having a secondary skin infection.
The most used medical treatments are:
- Creams and lotions containing Benzyl alcohol
- Calamine Lotion
- Zyrtec and Claritine
- Oral antibiotic or antibiotic ointment
- Corticosteroids, Antihistamines, or Epinephrine injections
Natural Remedies To Treat Bed Bugs
There are also natural home remedies to consider. You can do following:
- Apply lukewarm water above 120°F or 50°C to the area that has been bitten as soon as possible. This has been known to relieve some of the symptoms
- Regularly wash the rush with the use of antibacterial soap. It helps to keep the bacteria from growing on the rash and causing an infection
- Apply a mixture of baking soda and salt to the affected areas to relieve inflammation
- Soak in a lukewarm bath after adding powdered oatmeal.It will provide some relief from the itching sensation and reduce inflammation
- Make powdered oatmeal paste and apply to the areas which are affected
- Make a paste made from water and baking soda. Rub this paste on the area infected with the rash. Let the paste dry and then peel it off. This should help relieve some of the itching.
- Use lemon juice or Witch Hazel to apply directly on the bites
Bed Bugs In Hotel Room – What To Check
Oftentimes, people get these bites when a hotel bed is infested. You can do following hotel bed check up to see if there are any signs of bed bugs:
- Near the seams and tags of the mattress
- Inside or on the box spring
- In cracks on the bed frame and headboard
- Under loose wallpaper(if any)
- Inside or behind picture frames or wall decor(if any)
- In the joints of drawers and shelving
- In the crevices of where the wall meets the ceiling or the floor
- In electrical outlets
You can do the same when inspecting your home as well.
What To Do If Your Hotel Room Has Them
To make sure you don’t bring those nasty creatures back to your home you should:
- Carefully examine your entire luggage to ensure there are no bugs on it
- Pay special attention to the folds, crack and crevices of the bags and clothing
- Store the luggage in the hotel bathroom instead of keeping it on the designated table, shelf/cabinet or the bed in the room itself
- Carry large plastic trash bags to store your bags in. As soon as you sight bed bug activity in the room, call the hotel management.
- Ask for a room change or get your money refunded
The chances of you bringing back bugs from the hotel can be minimized greatly by taking basic preventive measures.
Once you are at home you should:
- Open your luggage outside in the garage
- Wash all clothes and spray the empty luggage with insecticides
- Cover and seal items in small plastic bags
- Or, freeze these bags as long as there are no delicate items within
- Inspect your shoes for bed bugs. You can spray them with bug repellents or wash them where applicable.
- Vacuum thoroughly
As you clean, you remove the possibility to nest any bed bugs or their eggs, in case you brought them home while traveling and sleeping in such hotel room (which we hope you didn’t).
Hotel Bed Bug Compensation – Is It achievable
If you want to get compensation from the hotel with beg bug infestation – you better show them hard evidence.
In case you have seen signs of bed bug activity, make sure you bag at least one and show it to the hotel management, or invite the hotel supervisor to have a look at discarded bed bug shells, and feces of bugs around the mattress.
Politely remind them about the situation, because no hotel wants negative reviews on popular review sites.
Make it clear that you are truly shocked and traumatized by this situation, and tell you the truth, it’s better to go find another hotel.
Request a full refund for all the nights that you have stayed in the infested hotel.
Also, make sure you get refunded for bills incurred from purchase of plastic bags for your luggage or shoes, as well as for medical treatment and bed bug bite creams.
You can also ask the hotel to pay for luggage fumigation costs.
In case you are not happy with the way the situation was handled, make sure you talk to someone higher up in the organizational ladder to get compensated.
If none of this happens, you can always leave a BAD REVIEW to online forums so other guests are warned about the hotel.
Word Of Advice
Before you do any trip, check the National Bed Bug Registry in the US, and see which hotels you need to avoid if you want to have a peaceful sleeping night without getting bitten by bed bugs.
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