First trip to a major city since the bed bug armies attacked...
December 18, 2012 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Traveling to Minneapolis in early January--when making a hotel reservation, will it be offensive to inquire if they've had bed bug problems? Or will it be any use at all to ask? (assuming the receptionist will say, "no, no, everything's fine!")

Bonus: any recommendations of hotels to steer clear of/hotels with a great reputation? (Can't afford the 4-star hotels; looking for something in the Shriner Clinic area.)
posted by Eicats to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It might be informative to also ask if they have a bed-bug inspection and control program.
"Do you have any?"
"My goodness , no!"
"Have you looked?"
Hopefully they have, or at least can tell you something to show you that they are paying attention to the potential problem.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:48 AM on December 18, 2012

Best answer: Here's the Bed Bug Registry.

I also find Trip Advisor to be an excellent gauge of how clean and bed bug free a specific hotel is.

Don't bother calling, they'll never admit it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:51 AM on December 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Any hotel can have bedbugs, even those that have not been reported in the registry. Your best bet is to educate yourself on how to identify the bugs so that you can avoid them.

Look on YouTube at videos on how to find bedbugs in hotel rooms. Take a flashlight with you when you go. You'll want to walk into the room and not set anything down on a soft surface. Put your bag in the bathtub while you do your inspection.

Pull the mattress back from the wall. Take the sheet and mattress pad off. Look at the mattress and the wall. Do you see any bugs or husks? Check the lining and seams of the mattress. Look for brown or red streaks. Those are giveaways of bedbug presence. Do the same thing for chairs and couches in the room. Also look behind the nightstand, pulling it away from its normal resting spot.

My family and I went on a road trip this summer and stayed in several hotels across the U.S. We had no problems up to and including D.C. On the way home, we stopped in a highly-rated Marriott that had not been reported on the bedbug registry. I did my check as outlined above and found an active infestation. They were horrified. That was the first time they had ever had bugs - according to them.

If you find bedbugs, the choice is yours whether you want to move rooms or move hotels. You are probably just fine if you move rooms and find no activity in the new room.

Another thing you can do is pack your clothes in a duffel bag rather than a hard sided case. That way when you get home, you can put everything, suitcase and all, into the dryer to heat treat it, just in case.

I have beanplated bedbugs, if you can't tell.
posted by Addlepated at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2012 [9 favorites]

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