As someone who has gone through the terrible ordeal of getting bed bugs in their home, I am constantly on high alert at any hotel I visit -- no matter how many stars it has.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows to look before they put their bags down or take a nap on the bed. Elgin Ozlen and his girlfriend were victims of this lack of knowledge.
When Ozlen's mom bought the couple a trip to NYC, they never thought they'd have to deal with the horror they experienced at a chic Upper West Side hotel they stayed at. After being moved from two other rooms in the Astor on the Park hotel (due to lack of heating and power to the outlets), they landed in a third one. They went to sleep but woke up the next day to their worst nightmare.
Warning: this video is not for those with weak stomachs.
While the hotel refunded their stay, there's no way they can assure Ozlen and his girlfriend that they won't bring a few critters home with them.
In order to avoid this happening to you, here's what you should do:
- Don't put your bags on the floor -- place them in the bathroom or on a tiled surface. Bed bugs cannot traverse slippery spots.
- Pull the sheets back before you get in bed -- look along the edge of the mattress for black spots. This is a sign of bed bugs.
- Look behind headboards, hanging pictures, and nightstands near beds. The bugs hide there, too.
- If you spot any signs of bed bugs, take a photo and immediately leave the room. Show the front desk your proof and they should move you to a new room.
Always, always, always check these spots. Bed bugs travel in your clothes and can live through harsh conditions. They will come back home with you! When you're home, wash and dry all your clothes right away. If you can, put your bag in the dryer, too. Good luck and safe travels!