If you plan on traveling across the country anytime soon or staying at a hotel, there's a good chance you want to avoid getting infested with bed bugs. These annoying bloodsucking pests are common in a variety of hotels, making it necessary to take steps to keep them from hitching a ride in your luggage to your home and settling in for the long haul.

Making An Essential Oil Bag

Essential oils possess a potent scent that may scare bed bugs away from your luggage. So before you take off for your trip, you need to create a simple essential oil bag that you can place in with your luggage. This bag requires soaking a wash rag in these oils and sealing it up in a plastic bag. Oils to consider using include:

  • Cinnamon oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Clove oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Eucalyptus oil

Six to ten drops of each of these oils should be more than enough. The scent may be noticeable to you through the bag, but it will be incredibly heavy for bed bugs. It will force them away from your luggage and keep you relatively safe from their invasion.

Inspecting Your Hotel Before You Open Your Luggage

Once you arrive at your hotel, you need to perform a simple inspection of your room before you open your luggage. Remove the sheet and mattress pad, inspecting the corners of the mattress and underneath the box spring. Check the luggage rack and in the cracks in the wall. Other areas to consider include the seams of the wall, the crack between the headboard and the wall, and underneath all the furniture.

Bed bugs are typically only eight to ten feet away from a food source at any point, making it crucial to inspect all possible areas near the bed. If you spot any signs of bed bugs (including shed skins or fecal matter), immediately contact the front desk and request another room. If you continue to run into bed bugs, get a refund and go to a new hotel.

Sealing Up Your Clothes After Wearing Them

The last step is to ensure that the clothes you take off at the end of the day don't have any minuscule bed bugs on them. The simplest way to do that is to perform this procedure before you go to bed:

  • Immediately place all the clothes you wore in a large plastic bag which you can seal and hang in the bathroom
  • Push the clothes to the bottom of the bag just before you leave, take the top one-third of the bag in your hand, and place a vacuum hose (from a travel vacuum you bring with you) in the top
  • Squeeze the top tightly and turn on the vacuum to remove the air and shrink wrap the bag
  • Carefully seal the top of the bag by twisting it multiple times and tying it shut at the top
  • Store the bag in an area where bed bugs can't get inside it, such as hanging from the shower rack

Follow these simple tips, and you can keep bed bugs out of your home for good. If any somehow sneak their way into your home, call a professional bed bug exterminator right away.