Don't bring bed bugs home from vacation

There were unwanted visitors at Paris Fashion Week this year: bed bugs! 

It was bad timing as the city prepares for the Olympic Games in 2024. 

But really, this is a problem for anyone who travels. 

So with the holidays fast approaching, Consumer Reports shares some tips to keep the bed bugs away during your next trip.

Bed bugs are gross, but they’re not generally dangerous. 

They don’t transmit disease, but their bites can cause a variety of problems, including skin infections and allergic reactions. 

To make sure you don’t bring home any unwanted "souvenirs," Consumer Reports has some simple steps you can take when you check in to help avoid hassles before you check out.

It might sound extreme, but to be safe, put your luggage in the bathroom as soon as you enter a hotel room.

Bed bugs prefer anything dark and creviced that they can hide in, like bedding, fabric seams, furniture, even inside walls. So the bathroom is usually a safe zone while you search elsewhere for signs of the critters.

Check the sheets, mattress, and boxspring.

Look for dark, rust colored spots and exoskeletons, the casings the bugs leave behind.

Don’t forget to look at the head of the bed and in, around, and behind the headboard. 

Be sure to lift and check under the mattress, too. 

It’s important to take action if you find any signs of bed bugs. 

Alert the manager immediately, and ask for a new room in a different part of the hotel. 

Even if your room seems clear, it’s a good idea to keep your luggage and clothes off the floor and off the bed. 

Put your suitcase on a table or a luggage rack, or even keep it in the bathroom. 

And when you get home, if you have any concerns that you’ve brought home hitchhikers, throw your travel clothes in a hot dryer for 30 minutes to kill any bugs.

If you’re staying at an Airbnb or a vacation rental and you find bed bugs or anything else you didn’t expect, immediately contact your host. 

In some cases, you have a limited time to log a complaint.

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