A Bed Bug Free Hotel Room: Certified by Pookey

Fair warning: if you are staying in a hotel right now and haven’t already done so, you will soon be checking your mattress for bed bugs.

Soon as in, as soon as you finish reading this thread where travelers share their tales of the nasty little creatures.

Backpacking in Thailand last year, I believe I got them doing a 3 day hill tribe hike in one of the villages. Being uneducated on the topic at the time I didn’t know what the bites were and they didn’t itch till maybe 3 days after I was bitten.. and I kept getting bitten, didn’t realise they were living in my clothes and were being carried with me from hotel to hostel etc. I travelled an additional week afterwards. ~az2012

Hotel to hostel? And presumably hostel to hotel. This shouldn’t be a revelation to me, I know. But I tend to think of the backpacker and hotel guest as inhabiting two separate and rarely intersecting worlds – certainly not intersecting on the mattress I’m about to sleep on.

…once I had a bad experience in a hotel but luckily I came to know as soon as I got into bed with the first bite, left whatever clothes on me took a shower and ran away ~victor7878

Prior to watching the following episode of “Infested” on Animal Planet I never checked mattresses at hotels for bed bugs. After watching the episode I’m not sure checking the mattress is good enough. On future trips I might just have to strip down and burn all of my clothing and luggage before stepping back into my house.

The use of bed-bug-sniffing dogs in that video, and at United Airlines’ headquarters when bed bugs were discovered in the building, makes me wonder if that might be something I would be ok paying extra for at a hotel. Imagine arriving at your hotel and the front desk rep tells you your room was inspected by a specially trained dog 20 minutes ago and handed you a piece of paper certifying that your room was deemed free of bed bugs. Maybe they could even throw in a sniff of your luggage if you like before you enter the room.

Then again, does that expose us as guests to a potential liability problem? What if they find bed bugs in the room after you leave? I can see the fine print now – if bed bugs are found upon your departure you will be responsible for extermination costs. Yikes!

What do you think? Would you select a hotel because it employed bed-bug-sniffing dogs (assuming there were no gotchyas in the fine print)? Have you ever found bed bugs in a hotel you were staying at? And worse yet, have you ever brought them back to your home?

Read the thread in its entirety: Where have you had bed bugs?

Image: “His ‘I’m about to bark’ face” by Tricia. CC BY 2.0.


  1. I’d still be leery. I recently stayed at a Hampton Inn that had signs in the elevator and post-it notes on the headboards claiming the sheets were clean but I found more hair in the beds on two different stays then any other place I ever stayed.

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