Got bedbugs? If so, they most likely followed you home from a recent hotel stay. Which hotel? That might be a tough call, especially if you’ve logged hotel nights at multiple different locations.
Welcome help in identifying the most likely source of past infestations, and avoiding future stays at affected properties, is at hand, at The Bedbug Registry. As the name suggests, the website compiles reports from travelers who have been exposed to what Wikipedia describes as “parasitic insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood.”
Here’s a typical report from a guest at an Extended Stay America property in Romeoville, IL:
Found single bed bug crawling on pillow as I laid down to go to sleep. Totally creeped out, won’t sleep tonight. On top of all that, the hotel lost power and water. Power is restored, water is not. Can’t even shower to get rid of this feeling. NEVER STAY AT THIS HOTEL EVER!!!!!
The site lacks the bells and whistles of robust user-review sites like TripAdvisor, but does feature a handy search function and a list of cities with the most bedbug reports.
With 4,490 reported sightings, New York is far and away the most bedbug-plagued city, followed by Toronto with 2,270, and Vancouver with just over 2,000.
As far as hotel chains go, Holiday Inn, with 732 bedbug reports, tops the list, followed by Days Inn (560), Super 8 (550), Best Western (519), Hampton Inn (505), Comfort Inn (503), Marriott (395), Hilton (338), Motel 6 (314), and Quality Inn (305). The correlation between bedbugs and cheaper rates seems pretty apparent, but the site probably doesn’t have a large enough data base to draw sweeping conclusions with a high degree of confidence.
Naturally, The Bedbug Registry offers advice on how to avoid bringing the pests into your own home, including:
- Examine the hotel mattress and headboard carefully for signs of bugs.
- Store bags on a metal rack or luggage stand away from walls and furniture.
- Put your clothes through a dryer at high heat before returning home, to kill bugs and their eggs.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite!
Reader Reality Check
Have you ever been the victim of a bedbug attack?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.