But according to an entomologist, a scientist who studies insects, there’s a pretty good reason why we should actually keep our belongings in the bathroom.
Brittany Campbell, entomologist for the National Pest Management Association, recently revealed that it’s the safest way to avoid taking any uninvited bedbugs home with you.
During an interview with Apartment Therapy, she revealed: “Travellers should avoid placing their luggage on upholstered surfaces and the bed when they arrive at their destination, since bedbugs are typically found on mattresses, box springs and in the crevices of furniture and inside upholstery.”
According to Campbell, the pesky critters are less likely to infest a bathroom making the bath or shower the safest spot. Just make sure to remove your luggage before switching the taps on.
But why can’t we just use the luggage racks provided, we hear you cry.
Campbell warns that you should be extra careful even when putting your suitcase on the provided accessory.
“Avoid using racks with hollow legs, since bedbugs can hide within the legs,” Campbell explains. “For added protection, you can place your suitcases in plastic trash bags during the duration of the trip. Tie the plastic bag when luggage is not in use to prevent bedbug entry.”
The helpful advices comes after news that bedbugs have been thriving this summer according to recent figures which revealed a 28% in pest control enquiries between May and June of 2019.
“Bed bugs are extremely skilled hitchhikers due to their ability to survive in temporary habitats, such as personal luggage or underneath the seats in cars, buses and trains,” Campbell explains.
“Regardless of where you lay your head at night, bringing back bed bugs is a serious issue, as these elusive pests can quickly make themselves at home and are difficult to get rid of.”
So how can we make sure they don’t follow catch our flight home?
How to check for bed bugs
1. Pull back the bed sheets
Before crashing for a post-journey nap, take the time to pull back the bed sheets to look for clues.
Any ink-like stains are a telltale sign of bedbug droppings. Make sure to check the headboard, mattress and any nearby corners too.
2. Inspect the entire room
Despite their name, bedbugs can be found in a multitude of places from your wardrobe to nearby sofa cushions or desk chairs so make sure to check the entire hotel room.
“Bed bugs can move and spread via housekeeping carts and even through wall sockets, so ensure the new room is not next to or above/below the suspected infestation,” Campbell warns.
3. Check for bites
We sure hope it doesn’t get to this point but one of the most obvious signs of an infestation are bites.
According to the NHS, you are most likely to find them on areas of the body which are exposed while you sleep such as the face, neck and arms.
Seek medical advice if the swelling doesn’t go down within a week. Hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines are strongly recommended if you’re bitten.