Bedbugs are in the headlines, and it’s a problem that London tourists may already be familiar with. According to reports, hotels in Paris are infested with them, and now there’s a risk of them coming to London via the Eurostar train. Bedbugs are always something to be on the lookout for. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself so you don’t bring home any unwanted visitors with you.
Bedbugs are tiny little creatures that can ruin your peaceful night’s sleep. They are not only irritating but can also cause a lot of discomfort and itching. If you are traveling to London, it’s essential to keep in mind that bedbugs are a common problem in hotels and hostels. However, here are some useful tips on how to avoid bedbugs when traveling in London.
- Research your accommodations beforehand
Before booking your accommodation, research it thoroughly. Look for reviews and ratings from previous guests, and pay attention to any comments regarding bedbugs. If you come across several complaints about bedbugs, it’s better to choose another place to stay. This is our biggest recommendation, if anywhere has any whiff of bedbugs, don’t stay there!
- Inspect your room
When you arrive at your accommodation, always inspect your room thoroughly. Start by checking the bed, mattress, and headboard (lift the mattress near the headboard). Look for any signs of bedbugs, such as live or dead bugs, bloodstains, or black spots. Also, check the furniture, curtains, and carpeting.
- Use luggage racks
Bedbugs tend to hide in dark places, such as suitcases and backpacks. Therefore, avoid placing your luggage on the bed, sofa, or carpeting. Instead, use luggage racks, which are usually provided by hotels. Keep your luggage closed and zipped at all times. This will help prevent bringing home unwanted crawling souvenirs.
- Wash your clothes
When you return from a day out, wash your clothes immediately, if there are facilities. Bedbugs can’t survive in hot water, so wash your clothes in the hottest possible temperature. Also, don’t forget to dry them on high heat. If you can’t wash your clothes while traveling, do so as soon as you return home.
- Use bedbug-proof encasements
If you are staying in a hotel or hostel for an extended period, consider using bedbug-proof encasements for your mattress and pillows. These encasements are specially designed to keep bedbugs out and can save you from a lot of hassle.
- Use a flashlight
Bedbugs are tiny and can be challenging to spot. Therefore, it’s a good idea to carry a flashlight with you. Use it to inspect your room thoroughly, especially in the corners, crevices, and dark areas. Though, we would advise against using any kind of blacklight in a hotel room…
- Be cautious when buying used items
London is famous for its vintage shops and flea markets. If you plan on buying used items, such as clothing or furniture, be cautious. Bedbugs can hitch a ride on these items and infest your home. Inspect everything carefully before buying, and wash or treat the items before taking them home.
- Avoid public transportation during peak hours
Bedbugs can also infest public transportation, such as buses and trains. Therefore, avoid traveling during peak hours when the buses and trains are crowded. Instead, travel during off-peak hours when there are fewer people around.
In case you get bit by bedbugs in London:
If you end up with bedbug bites while in London, it’s important to treat them right away to alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications. The first step is to wash the affected area with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. You can then apply a cold compress or take an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce itching and inflammation. Visit a local pharmacy, they’re everywhere in London – and the pharmacist can recommend a treatment. If the bites are severe or persistent, it’s important to seek medical attention to ensure proper treatment when you return home. Your reaction may vary depending on how allergic you are to the bites. I don’t recommend Googling bedbug bites… it’s a horror show.
Bedbugs can be a real pain when traveling, but by following these simple tips, you can avoid them. Remember to research your accommodation beforehand, inspect your room, use luggage racks, wash your clothes, use bedbug-proof encasements, use a flashlight, be cautious when buying used items, and avoid public transportation during peak hours. With a little bit of caution and preparation, you can enjoy your trip to London without worrying about bedbugs.