How to Check Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

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Few pests spark quite as much fear as bed bugs. After all, there aren’t nursery rhymes about watching out for moths or mosquitos (which people have a lot more reason to fear). But that doesn’t mean we’re always good at figuring out whether or not we’ve been infested. Plenty of people don’t even know what a bed bug looks like, much less where to look out for them.

If you’re worried about bed bugs (and, if you live in an urban area, you probably should be) there are a few places you should know to look to find where they might be hiding. The infographic below from Rentokil, an international pest control company, details exactly where to look out for infestations in a hotel room, but similar advice applies to the furniture in your home.

A good rule to follow? If there’s a crevice, you should check it. Remember: You’re looking for a wide range of signs, from little black marks (yes, bed bug poop) to smears of blood, live bugs, and teeny white eggs.

If you do find evidence of bed bugs, move—and fast. Either ask for a hotel room far away from your current one, or, if you’re unlucky enough to find them in your own home, call the exterminator or your landlord. Double bag all your clothes and other items that could be infested, and buy a bug-proof mattress cover as soon as you can. In a 2015 study of New Jersey buildings with bed bugs, infested apartments housed between 2400 and 14,000 bugs each, so you don’t want to let the problem fester.

And if you’re moving? Make sure to take a peek around for evidence of an infestation in your new place, too.