Mum finds bed bugs in daughter's bed on TUI holiday
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Bedbugs are parasitic creatures which often live on furniture or bedding, and feast on the blood of humans and animals. Though many people think to check the corners of their mattress at home for these brown bugs, when checking in to a hotel on holiday, scouring the sheets for signs of them isn’t likely to be top of your list of priorities. However, travelling is actually one of the main ways bedbugs are caught and spread.
Bedbugs aren’t fussy about location and can strike whether you’re in a budget hostel or a five-star hotel.
The key to combatting them, according to experts from MattressNextDay, is to know what you are looking for.
A spokesperson for MattressNextDay said: “After the past couple of years we all deserve a fantastic holiday this summer and let’s face it none of us wants to be sharing a bed with these little critters.
“That’s why we recommend holidaymakers check out their mattress before they climb between the sheets for the first time in a new bed.”
Key signs of a bedbug infestation to look out for
Just like when hunting for bed bugs at home, spots of blood on the mattress and sheets are a key indication the critters may have taken up residency in your hotel room.
The spokesperson for MattressNextDay said: Unfortunately, this is as gruesome as it sounds. When the bugs get squashed they release a lot of blood, especially around the seams of mattresses – which is where they tend to hide.
“These spots can start to look a rusty colour the longer they have been there.”
Make sure to check both sides of the mattress for blood stains.
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The expert explained: “It may sound obvious that spotting eggs would be a telltale sign of a bug infestation but they’re not always hiding in plain sight.
“The eggs are tiny and can be found in numerous places, not just on the mattress. They are about 1mm wide and are often a pale yellow colour.
“If you do find any of these eggs, it could mean the bed bugs are still very much alive and this should be reported immediately.”
Your eyes aren’t the only way to hunt for bedbugs, as their presence can also leave an odd smell, often described as “musty”.
The expert said: “You may have been to a hotel that smells a little strange before but the odour excreted by bed bugs is certainly distinguishable.
“If the bedroom area has a strong, musty and unpleasant odour. This could possibly come from a bed bug’s scent glands and is strongest when there are large amounts of bugs present.
“Always err on the side of caution when it comes to a smelly room and check for other signs too.”
Dark spots on walls
Checking the bed should be your first port of call, but signs of bedbugs can be present in other parts of the room swell.
The MattressNextDay expert said: “Although this is slightly less common, bed bugs can also leave stains on walls too. If you do notice any dark spots this could be bed bug excrement.
“Make sure not to touch any of the affected areas and notify the hotel or apartment staff straight away.”
Much like many other creatures, bugs shed their skin once they begin to grow.
According to MattressNextDay: “When trying to identify a shell you should look for small, husk-like specks that may crunch if squashed.
“They are primarily found amongst fabric, so check mattresses, headboards, sofas and any other upholstery.”
Worn or aged upholstery
Though this is not a certain sign of bedbugs, MattressNextDay’s experts say old furnishings can carry a higher risk of infestation.
They explained: “Old fabrics that may not have been cleaned thoroughly or are possibly second hand could house a family of bed bugs.
“If the place you’re staying is of a slightly older nature or a boutique-style, it’s always best to double-check the fabric and furnishings before settling in.”
White spots on furniture
Mattresses aren’t the only places bedbugs like to take up residency, with all soft furnishings at risk.
MattressNextDay said: “Bed bugs also like to lay their eggs in furniture as well as mattresses, especially sofas.
“These will look like bunches of small white spots from a distance, but on closer inspection, this can be where the bugs have decided to keep their eggs.”
One of the most common warning signs of a bedbug infestation is their bites.
Though a bug bite on holiday is not unusual, bedbug bites have a distinct look to them that differs from others.
MattressNextDay’s spokesperson said: “If you haven’t spotted any of these signs but have woken up with small, red, itchy spots on your skin, this could be down to the creepy critters.
“The bites will often form a straight line across a part of your body, this is a hallmark bed bug trait.
“Mosquitoes and fleas don’t bite in this formation. So if you do notice these red spots it is best to seek medical advice.”
What to do if you believe your hotel room has a bedbug infestation
If you feel certain that your hotel room has a bedbug infestation it is imperative you do not stay in the room and contact the hotel staff and management as soon as possible.
The expert added: “It’s important to spot the signs early so that it doesn’t ruin your holiday and ultimately it doesn’t affect your health.
” If you do spot signs of bed bugs when you arrive at your hotel or apartment then it is best to notify the appropriate staff immediately.
“More often than not you will find that they will be very accommodating as customer care should be their number one priority.
“We’d advise anyone who is genuinely worried about bed bugs to take a small bug spray with them in their suitcase, just as a precautionary method.”
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