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Home Inspectors - Checking Hotels When Traveling

Sometimes people ask me, as a home inspector, what I do to check a hotel for bugs when traveling. 

First of all, all hotels have issues with insects and/or rodents at one time or another. It’s impossible to avoid 100% of the time, unless you just decide to never go anywhere. It doesn’t matter if the place is cheap or expensive, and it doesn’t matter if it looks like a ‘nice’ place - pest do not care about these things (homes are the same way). So in our family, we just accept that reality, but we also do the following:

  • Look between the mattress and box springs immediately upon entering the room, as well as the corners of bed sheets. If you see any bed bugs, or any tiny black dots (which indicate digested blood from their excrement) ask for a different room or make other plans. Bedbugs like friction, that’s why they like corners and to be in between things. 

  • Even if everything looks good, we always keep our suitcases on hard surfaces, not carpeted surfaces. 

  • Use a bright light, the flashlight on your phone will do, to shine in and around furniture, especially in dark crevices. Watch to see if you see any movement, such as from a roach or spider. 

  • Store any food (aka restaurant leftovers, snacks) in the refrigerator until you are ready to leave (or until the time the trash is going out). 

Decide ahead of time what you are comfortable with and what you are not. For us, any evidence of bedbugs, even if no live bugs are seen, is enough to make us leave. However, we recently stayed in a really nice place, that ended up having 1 roach that came out from under the dishwasher, which we promptly killed (pictured below). If we had seen a dozen, we definitely would have left. You can see that roach pictured here, it was about 2” long. And yes, we reported it to management without complaining, demanding a discount or anything of that sort.


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