After dragging your bags through airports and hotel hallways, you might be tempted to drop them on the bed as soon as you reach your destination. But there’s a step you need to take before you unpack your bags and enter 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 on the floor. Taking this precaution could save you from a possible bed bug attack, Apartment Therapy reports.
True to their name, bedbugs tend to nestle in the coziest parts of a room. This includes mattresses, couches, rugs, and anything upholstered. Bathrooms are generally spared from bedbugs, which is why they are safe areas for your cloth bags and the clothes they contain.
In case your the hotel room is infested, insects will treat your luggage as their own playground if given the chance. Even metal racks built for suitcases can harbor bed bugs in their hollow legs. Instead of leaving your bags in the main room, put them in the tub or on the bathroom floor for added safety (wrapping them in trash bags first will protect them from moisture and protect your tub external dirt).
Now you can scour your bedroom for bugs without worrying about the fate of your wardrobe. Check every nook and cranny of the room, including mattress seams, drawer joints, and crevices in the bed frame and headboard. You’re looking for any signs the bugs leave behind, such as blood, droppings, and eggs, as well 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 back six-legged hitchhikers with you.
Hotel bed bugs aren’t as common as you might think, but it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant. This is especially true if you are traveling to certain parts of the country. Here are the cities with the highest rates of bed bug infestations in the United States
[h/t Apartment Therapy]