Here’s Why You Should Put Your Luggage in the Bathtub

When entering a new hotel, our priorities usually involve checking security and cleanliness, with luggage placement as an afterthought. However, a crucial yet unconventional tip is to place your luggage in the hotel’s bathroom, specifically in the bathtub. This may sound unsettling, but it’s a preventive measure against the potential presence of bed bugs.

Regardless of a hotel’s rating, the risk of encountering bed bugs is never zero, as these pests are known to hitch rides on various surfaces. Placing luggage in the bathroom keeps it out of their reach until you can ensure the room is bed bug-free.

Marla Cimini, a travel consultant, underscores the frequency of bed bug infestations in the hospitality industry. After stowing luggage, she advises checking the mattress and bed by pulling out sheets from corners and sides, inspecting the headboard and drawers. Entomologist Katelyn Kesheimer also supports this routine.

Why the bathroom? Kesheimer explains that the bathroom is the last place where bed bugs are found. Guests spend minimal time there, and surfaces are hard and nonporous, like tile and countertops. Additionally, bathroom hiding places like bathmats and towels are regularly cleaned.

Bed bugs typically favor areas where people spend extended hours and conditions that allow them to hide and access blood meals easily. They choose dark and flat places to hide when not feeding. Common hiding spots include beds, headboards, behind hanging pictures, beneath mattresses, within creases and folds, couches, accent chairs, dressers, and closets.

In case of suspected bed bug infestation, Kesheimer recommends using a phone’s flashlight to scrutinize luggage before packing. Large garbage bags can be used to isolate infested luggage until it can be properly addressed at home.

Upon returning home, experts advise unpacking luggage immediately to prevent potential infestation. Bed bugs will hide until the coast is clear, and failing to clean luggage can lead to potential infestation in your closet. High heat is fatal for bed bugs, and a 45-minute high treatment in the dryer can effectively eliminate them. Cleaning luggage is crucial, as bed bugs can survive for over a year without a meal, presenting an ongoing risk of infesting your wardrobe.

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