Why You Should Think Twice Before Using The Luggage Rack In Your Hotel Room

The luggage rack lurking in the corner of your hotel room looks innocuous, but it may be hiding a dirty secret. According to The U.S. Sun, there is one, very important reason you may want to avoid using it altogether: bed bugs. Bug expert Britney Campbell explained to the outlet that bed bugs can live in the legs of these racks, which is why you may want to think twice before using them.

Due to the bed bug infestation in Paris, travelers are already being more careful about putting their bags on the bed or the carpet in case these bugs hitch a ride. However, this could mean that more people are using the luggage rack without realizing that they could hide in there too. 

That said, the best thing to do is try to spot bed bugs before you get settled in your room. To do so, simply bring a towel from home on your trip and, provided the bathroom is clean, place it in the bath and put your luggage in there temporarily while you hunt for bed bugs.

How to search your room for bed bugs

The first place to begin your search for these pests is, of course, the bed. Peel back the sheets to inspect the mattress and check the corners in particular for any signs of these critters. Then, sniff the pillows for any mold smells and look at the box springs for any small dark spots, blood flecks, exoskeletons, or other signs of eggs. Bed bugs are tiny but you can spot them if you look closely.

As bed bugs love upholstery, a sparsely furnished hotel room could be in your favor. The more fabric and wood there is, the more bed bugs will like it. A room with a tiled floor is much less appealing to them, too. Blinds or shutters are less likely to house these pests than curtains as they're harder to climb onto since they don't reach past the window itself. 

According to Bed Bugs Insider, blinds tend to get too bright and cold for them to enjoy living there. Bed bugs also like wallpaper so use your phone torch to check behind any paper that is loose or bubbled. There is also an app called Bed Bug Field Guide which can help you in your search. Luckily, if your room is clean, this can make it easier to find these critters.

How to avoid germs and bed bugs

Luggage racks can often be overlooked when it comes to cleaning as they are not always used by guests. This means that much like the hairdryer, which was found to be one of the germiest items in the hotel room by microbiologist Chuck Gerba (via ABC News), this rack has the potential to be pretty gross. If you're happy that it is bed bug-free, but still have hygiene concerns, you could always place a clean towel over it and place your suitcase on top of that.

It is also important to check online reviews for any mentions of bed bugs or dirty rooms in general. Even though bed bugs will still live in a clean room, a hotel that prides itself on keeping things spotless will take checking for pests more seriously than one that doesn't bother. Fortunately, although it might sound scary, if you follow all of these tips carefully you are much more likely to come home without unknowingly stowing away bed bugs in your luggage.