As most thrifty travelers know, backpacking isn’t necessarily a picnic. Complete with overnight train rides and questionable hostel rooms, backpackers are constantly facing unappealing living conditions. Still, there is one thing that all travelers fear like no other.
The dreaded bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are one of the most common issues for backpackers and unfortunately, even clean spaces may not be bed bug free. Bed bug infestations can turn up anywhere and any place. Sadly, hostels seem to be the breeding ground for bed bug infestations and no matter how much research you do beforehand, there’s always a chance you’ll run into them. Consequently, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst.
So what’s the best way to avoid bed bug bites and remain bed bug free while backpacking?
- Buy a travel sheet. It will be your best friend. Available in cotton, or the slightly pricier silk, this compact sheet is a convenient way to avoid bed bug bites. The tightly woven threads of the sheet act as an impenetrable barrier between you and a bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, there is a small slit at the top of this cocoon-like sac that does leave your head exposed and not fully protected. Still, a travel sheet is your best bet to having a bed bug bite free sleep in a hostel that may have a bed bug infestation. You can purchase them at most camping and travel stores.
- Never use your own pillow or sleeping bag in a hostel. Bed bugs love to catch a ride on them and it is the primary reason why hostels and hotels so susceptible to bed bug infestations. Not only will you be perpetuating bad travel decorum by being a possible carrier, you might also take them home with you.
- Keep your clothes packed away. Whenever you aren’t using your clothing, make sure it is safely stowed away in your bag. In fact, when possible, don’t leave your backpack near any furniture. One common myth about bed bugs is that they only live in beds. This isn’t true. So do your best to avoid storing your bag under your bed or in closets. Many hostels have luggage lockers available to travelers. This is probably your best option to keep your backpack bed bug free.
- Leave reviews for future backpackers. If you do have the unfortunate luck of being unable to avoid bed bugs in certain hostels, make sure to let your fellow backpackers know. Hostel booking websites often have a review section where you can warn other travelers about hostels with bed bug infestations.
Coming across a bed bug infestation while backpacking is often inevitable. So the best way to avoid bed bugs is to be well prepared. If you do, however, believe you’ve accidentally brought them back with you, call Magical Pest Control at (905) 738-6676 to schedule a bed bug inspection as soon as possible.