I told you why I get nervous in Hotels. But there's another reason to be nervous in them. Bed Bugs!! They used to be a rare and uncommon thing, but it seems that we are hearing of more and more cases now. I personally know 2 different families that have had them and had to pay dearly to get rid of them. Once you have them it takes lots of work, money and time to get rid of them.
Bed Bugs are tiny, little, brown bugs. They like to hang out in your mattresses and clutter. They come out at night to suck your blood. You would not feel them because they are so small they don't hurt at all. If you have strange bites in groups of 3, you may want to look around your head board, wood work, or between your mattresses to see you can find any.
Bed bugs can be gotten very easily. If you shop second hand like I do, then you need to be very careful. You can bring them home in used clothes or furniture that you bring home. Don't panic, just wash all second hand items as soon as you get home. If you can use hot water or the hot dryer...that would be good too. If you don't have time to wash them, leave them outside in the hot sun, or put them in a plastic bag and leave them in the trunk of your car. Bed bugs can't take heat.
Bed bugs like to hang out with the clutter. If you keep books, magazines or clutter under your beds, you may want to find another spot for it, or throw it out altogether. If you should happen to get a bed bug, they won't have as many places to hang out.
Bed bugs can't fly. This is a good thing! This means the only way they can get on your bed is crawl. Be sure that blankets and bed skirts don't touch the floor. Cover you mattresses with a plastic mattress protector so that they can't get into your mattresses. I read that one woman even makes sure her head board doesn't touch the wall and she puts tape around the legs of her bed with the sticky side out. This way the little blood suckers don't have a way to get into the bed.
If you suspect you may have them, you want wash all of your clothes, bedding and carpets. Take the vacuum out side and dispose of the bags when you are finished vacuuming. Shampooing carpets would be a great idea too. Set your furniture in the hot sun for a few hours. Vacuum it before you bring it back into your home. Put your mattresses out in the sun. Vacuum them and put plastic coverings on them before you return them to their places. Don't forget your pillows. (You could just hang all of your clothing out on a line in the hot sun for a few hours too. If you have that much clothes line and it doesn't look like rain.)
To keep Bed Bugs away...simply wash your bedding regularly, invest in some plastic coverings for all of your mattresses. (I can't tell you how much I love our plastic covers! They have saved me sooo much time!) Keep windows open, or fans on to keep air circulating. Be sure none of your bedding touches the floor. Wash all used clothing. Vacuum regularly to keep them and other critters out of your carpets and cracks in the floors. Be sure to change the bag or canister regularly so that the creepy crawlies don't jump out. (Yet another reason I love my Rainbow vacuum...that could never happen!)
Bed bugs don't like extreme heat or extreme cold. Which is one reason you wouldn't have a problem in the winter months if you live in cold climates. (Unless you've had them since the weather was nicer and they feel at home in your nice warm house. That would so not be cool!) Your dryer and the hot sun are your best defenses.
Remember...prevention is the best cure!