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Does the Bedbug Registry Still Work? How to Find Out Whether Your Hotel is Infested

SmarterTravel

Bedbugs are hard to get rid of. But at hotels, they can be easy to avoid—if you know how. The Bedbug Registry used to be one of the best resources for finding out whether a hotel you were thinking of booking has had bedbugs. The site mapped 12,000 hotels in the U.S. and Canada, to flag where bedbugs had been reported, based on 20,000 reports from individual travelers.

However, it appears as though the Bedbug Registry hasn’t gotten any new reports since early 2016—which means that although the site used to be an excellent tool for mapping bedbugs at hotels, it isn’t current anymore.

So what’s a good, up-to-date alternative to the Bedbug Registry? Try Bedbug Reports instead, which lists recent reports of bedbugs at many popular hotels. Search the site by state and city to find out which hotels to avoid—plus, you can file your own report about a hotel, if you’ve encountered bedbugs there.

You can also find references to bedbug problems at specific hotels on user-generated hotel review websites, like TripAdvisor, SmarterTravel’s parent company; just search for the term “bedbugs” to find out whether a hotel you’re considering has been affected. Other sites can be helpful too, like Know Bedbugs, which lets guests choose a hotel where the staff has had bedbug certification training.

Although most travelers haven’t encountered bedbugs—at least not yet—many people have friends who have gotten out of hotel beds with a bunch of welts. Bedbugs are hard to kill and travel easily, hitching rides in baggage and clothing. And they keep hidden during the day, so hotel housekeepers may not spot them; hotel management may find out about a problem only when confronted by an irate guest.

If you discover bedbugs in your hotel room—preferably before you get into bed—ask to be transferred to another room immediately or, if your hotel is full, to another hotel. Whenever you encounter bedbugs, you’ll be doing other travelers a big favor by reporting the bugs to the hotel’s management, on Bedbug Reports, and on TripAdvisor.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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