After dragging your luggage through airports and hotel hallways, you may be tempted to flop it onto the bed the moment you reach your destination. But there's one step you should take before unpacking your bags and entering vacation mode. According to entomologists who study insect infestations, suitcases should go in the bathtub when you first enter a hotel room—not on the bed or even the floor. Taking this precaution could save you from a potential bed bug attack, Apartment Therapy reports.
True to their name, beg bugs tend to nestle into the coziest parts of a room. This includes mattresses, sofas, carpets, and anything with upholstery. Bathrooms are usually spared from bed bugs, which is why they're safe zones for your fabric bags and any clothing they contain.
On the off chance that your hotel room is infested, the insects will treat your luggage like their own playground if given the chance. Even the metal racks built for suitcases can host bed bugs in their hollow legs. Instead of leaving your bags in the main room, drop them in the bathtub or on the bathroom floor to be safe (wrapping them in garbage bags first will protect them from moisture and protect your tub from outside dirt).
Now you can scour your room for bugs without fretting about the fate of your wardrobe. Check any nooks and crannies in the room, including mattress seams, drawer joints, and bed frame and headboard crevices. You're looking for any signs the bugs leave behind—such as blood, droppings, and eggs—as wells as the tiny black bugs themselves. Once you've swept the room, including the luggage rack, you can remove the bags from the bathroom without worrying about bringing any six-legged hitchhikers home with you.
Hotel bed bugs aren't as common as you might assume, but it doesn't hurt to be vigilant. This is especially true if you're traveling through certain parts of the country. Here are the cities with the highest rates of bed bug infestations in the U.S.
[h/t Apartment Therapy]