Wil-Kil Pest Control's Pest of the Month: Sleep Tight, Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Traveling? Tips to prevent and avoid bringing home bed bugs from Shane McCoy of Wil-Kil Pest Control.

By Shane McCoy, Certified Entomologist and Technical Training Director at Wil-Kil Pest Control

You cannot just “get” bed bugs. They have to be brought into your home. One way of bringing bed bugs into your home is from hotel rooms. Whether traveling in the United States or internationally, there are hundreds of places where your luggage might come in contact with bed bugs. Bed bugs might be in your hotel room, in the trunk of a taxi, in the luggage compartment of the airplane, or in the baggage handling facility at the airport.  Although you cannot control your bag’s travel experience, you can inspect your hotel room on arrival and your luggage prior to bringing it back into the home.

How to Spot a Bed Bug

First, let’s make sure you know what bed bugs look like. Adult bed bugs can be seen easily with the naked eye. Adults are reddish brown and about the size of an apple seed. The nymphs (or babies) can also be seen with the naked eye but they are smaller and a translucent white-yellow in color. The nymphs that first hatch out of the egg are the most difficult to see. You can also see the eggs, especially on a darker surface like behind the headboard or on the bottom side of the box spring. However, on a white mattress or white box spring, they are difficult to see.

In addition to spotting bed bugs themselves, there are also other signs of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs go through a process called molting when they grow. When a bed bug molts, it sheds its external skeleton (like cicada skins you’ve seen on trees). Bed bugs molt five times, so there may be many skins lying around where bed bugs are living. Bed bugs only feed on blood (primarily human blood) and, of course, they have to excrete some of the excess liquid as waste. This waste, called fecal spotting, is black in color and is often found before the bed bug. Fecal spots can be found on a mattress or box spring, behind the headboard, along the baseboard, at electrical outlets and behind pictures on the wall.

Checking Into a Hotel Room

One of the most common ways of encountering bed bugs is in a hotel room. Inspecting your room for signs of bed bugs is very important for protecting not only yourself, but a future infestation in your home.

When inspecting your hotel room:

  • Pull back all of the bedding at the head of the bed near the headboard to look for bed bugs and fecal stains (usually black spots)
  • Check the underside of the mattress piping and tags
  • Check the seams and piping of the box spring
  • If possible, lift up the headboard and remove it from the wall to inspect the back of it. This may take two people.
  • If bed bug evidence is found, report it immediately to hotel management and ask for another room

Returning Home

Tips for inspecting and laundering your items:

  • Avoid setting your suitcase on the bed while unpacking
  • Immediately launder all clothing using the high heat setting in the dryer for at least 20 minutes kills all life stages of bed bugs. If you have items that cannot be laundered like shoes and backpacks, place those in the dryer.
  • Using a flash light, perform a close inspection of all items that cannot be laundered or placed in the dryer, such as your suitcase. I place my large items in a big suitcase and store them in the garage until my next trip. Avoid storing luggage in your bedroom closet.
  • If you want to take extra precautions, some pesticides can be used on your suitcase. These products can be found in your big box hardware stores or online.


I hope I haven’t scared you to the point that you no longer want to stay overnight in a hotel, as that’s definitely not my intention. I stay in hotels at least a couple nights every two months, but I am now bed bug conscious. My awareness of encountering bed bugs as a way of prevention has kept me from bringing bed bugs into my home, and yes, I have found bed bugs in my hotel room, but just once. I perform that quick inspection upon checking in, and take precautions when I get home. Bed bug treatments are not simple and can be expensive, and for this reason we all need to be bed bug conscious and stop their spread.


Shane McCoy is an Associate Certified Entomologist with 17 years of experience in Pest Management and is the Technical Training Director for Wil-Kil Pest Control servicing the Upper Midwest. To learn more about Wi -Kil, visit http://www.wil-kil.com/ or contact your local office at 800-236-8735. Follow Wil-Kil on Facebook and Twitter (@WilKilPest).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

The Truth March 02, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Chicago and their politics......... ;/
The Truth March 02, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Last I heard, people were flocking to Uptown and the Edgewater Beach Hotel in the roaring 20's.
Terry March 02, 2013 at 11:28 PM
lol... indeed. It certainly has gone in some strange directions.
BUTCH March 03, 2013 at 04:47 AM
If McC cites Mormon NEO CON friends of Cheney the unindicted war criminal who has millions of blood of innocents on his KBR HELLIURTON corp of death in 3 wars it started with desert storm, he is immune from laws on trading with or dealing with the enemy, and now the Wars for the 1% proceed. ROMNEYS original partner in BAIN were the Salvador death squads the assassins of the RC ARCH BISHOP and a dozen maryknoll martyrs, so if there are these harmless misinfo posts by wingnuts i and others will tell the real story, it is the WAR on LIES of the wingnuts. So don't cite lies as facts and I will not cite the facts.
Jimmy March 03, 2013 at 05:58 AM
I knew it, I absolutely knew MSNBC, Media Matters, Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow enjoyed at least eleven fans and followers. And, now butchy makes a full dozen.
Steve ® March 03, 2013 at 06:51 AM
Obamacare will fix all of this.
BUTCH March 03, 2013 at 02:51 PM
@Jimmy-- have you been overexposed to the same HILLBILLY HEROIN used by iconic Rush and or inhaled DDT? Take a TYLENOL and Scotch that is one solution( from another wing nut) Most wingies are mutated TPARTY chicken crapper flag wavers,draft dodger tax avoiders, most also have missing ingredients to the amygla, it usually came from being a down winder and inhaling TESTICLE CANCER BOB'S gift of stronium 90 rather than Tesla's free energy? right on Steve OBAMACARE part E for all! Then the rest of us could get the Cadillac treatment the AEI sponsored do not work Congress gets and the 18,000 Robme CAYMAN ISLANDERS! ,NEVER heard of bedbugs in their balmy Banksters digs, only here where the KOOL AID drinkers gather!
BUTCH March 03, 2013 at 03:05 PM
@ noI have been in hospitals where there are pandemics of HILLBILLY HEROIN overdoses from scripts given to cross burners inhaling the fumes and wood preservatives, very serious problem even Rush Limbaugh and hooker toe sucker Dick Morris of Fox and friends were stricken.
Terry March 04, 2013 at 07:28 AM
I have a picture. A picture in my head. Of a man, sitting in his basement wearing a helmet made of aluminum foil. A man, listening for black helicopters, and waiting for the aliens to land. Eating hot pockets, drinking orange soda, and typing on his computer. Just saying....
The Truth March 04, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Well if it doesn't, it should have. LOL
BUTCH March 04, 2013 at 03:24 PM
That's all mutates can do pictures and voices in their empty head! And when the FED'S say" it is a NATIONAL SECURITY issue" denial!! The Engineers and Designers of DDT( oops they are good but did not say that ) of Nuke casks where radioactive anything is stored and are designed to last 500 years and are leaking into the picnic groves wells as it did say it didn't happen! is this listening for Black helo's? there is no worldwide rises in THYROID, BREAST and TESTICLE cancer maybe among aliens right! Wait till u see the next decade! The fear merchants of the Caymans and Fox like to spread LIES and MISINFO resulting in mass fear until it backfires and the truth comes out as it has at Yakima Wash- HANFORD-FUKI both of them have the same safe installation as the infamous Chernobyl Then our own safe for 500 yr leaky casks RED GATE WOODS - GATE! Don't despair, unfortunately you are at yer limit, the amygla diminishes even more listening to HILLBILLY HEROIN RANTS and 5 years of obstuctionism has made it worse it is not reversible just keep trying to muck it up the only hope u really have is OBAMACARE for EVERYBODY PART E.
Terry March 05, 2013 at 01:51 PM
Shhhh... not so loud. The aliens might hear you....
John Roberts March 05, 2013 at 02:59 PM
So we as humans have still not figured out we are part of the earth and everything in it..lol.. of course there are bug in peoples beds, and mice in the mattresses too...this is just like lice..There is not a state nor town in the nation that has not dealt with this..bugs come from outside,on your clothes,in your hair,on the dogs...but some how we seem to think that we will not be effected by bugs because we are humans..lol..bed bugs no different than an infestation of spiders,mites,lice...now management of bugs that come into a household will forever be...people need to start getting back to the natural ways of ridding pests..otherwise bugs become immune to the chemicals..Humans do not..the harsher the chemical the harsher the effect on the human...and the bug becomes more adaptive....
BUTCH March 05, 2013 at 06:06 PM
Mr Roberts u sound like an alien more than a human! -- at least to the deniers needing more and more misinformation to make a decision if they can survive the waves of bugs, mutated bugs, super bugs and those sci fi bugs that are part of the 21st century vampire capitalist empire of slave labor,Gen engineered food, CRUMMY HEALTH CARE( except for the looters)Nuclear Engineered safe designs and being represented by do nothings in Congress who pass laws when they do work on the need for more and more guinea pigs and cannon fodder, the safety of inhaling DDT and STRONTIUM 90! HOPE they are thru editing my posts someone must be taking it personal besides Bob AND A HUNDRED MORE WINGIES! MAYBE THEY WILL REOPEN MY MAILBOX ALSO.
Natalie Stevens (Editor) March 05, 2013 at 08:11 PM
A comment was removed from this thread for violating our Terms of Service. Keep the conversation clean, people (and on topic?). I myself don't have any bedbug stories, but I always do check hotel room beds just in case. One time found a mosquito hanging out but no bedbugs as of yet.
Patch61 March 05, 2013 at 10:52 PM
John Roberts - Interesting post. Though it's obvious that insects, viruses, bacteria, etc. mutate I never really thought about humans not mutating. On the other hand, b/c we are able to save the lives of so many who would die (disease, mis-developed bodily organs, etc), we are weakening our gene pool.
BUTCH March 05, 2013 at 11:04 PM
@Natalie For u and the robot's information My posts on Red Gate Woods is not subject to censorship on this Public site, THE national security issue was resolved by the remediation etc, everyone needs to comply on FOIA the government and the patch who is censoring what exactly? This is about U.S. federal law. For freedom of information in the fifty U.S. states, see Freedom of information in the United States. Freedom of Information Act Great Seal of the United States. FOIA Act Effective July 1, 1967 Signed into law by President LBJ on July 4, 1966 Electronic Freedom of Information Act of 1996 The Intelligence Authorization Act of 2002, PL 107-306, 116 Stat 2383 OPEN Government Act of 2007, PL 110-175, 121 Stat 2524 United States Supreme Court cases The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute.[1] It was originally signed into law by President Johnson, despite his misgivings,[2] on July 4, 1966 as 5 U.S.C. § 552 and went into effect the following year.[3] The Federal Government's Freedom of Information Act should not be confused with the STATE Freedom of Information Acts by individual states.some of which may be similar but not identical.
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 12:28 AM
@patch --interesting comment patch is inhaling DDT strengthening the gene pool? Is eating contaminated salmon building up a human or mutated #**# immune system? Is working outside in the rain and snow doing making a person stronger and or healthier despite the thyroid demands for iodine that is fallout from Fukishima? Is eating GE CORN making anyone healthy and is it strengthening the gene pool? Where's Bob we need expert testimony!
Patch61 March 06, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Butch... I guess you had a little trouble with reading comprehension in school? I'll restate what I wrote: bacteria, viruses, insects adapt (to DDT, whatever) in a sense becoming stronger (or at least resistant), humans do not adapt. And, we humans are actually weakening our gene pool b/c those who would o/wise not survive to child-producing years, due to whatever genetic misfortune are now being saved by science and producing children. This assumes their misfortune is in their DNA and being passed to their children.
Patch61 March 06, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Butch... the DDT statement was obviously just to rile people up. I have numerous colleagues who get their thrill by going on to blogs such as this, saying idiotic things (e.g., we need DDT) and watching how many people respond.
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 03:08 AM
Yep it did that, and yep I know u have numerous colleagues who plant this kid of virus or even better and more sophisticated malware on PC and in many kind of places for a response of course! So much for FOIA. to get one's jollies off, tell yer colleagues to give me back my mailbox.
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 03:20 AM
And speaking of misfortune being passed down in DNA did Bob and LW have anything to do with you and or your geneticists colleague thrill seeking on mutated humans or viruses brought on by the leaky casks here or wherever?
John Roberts March 06, 2013 at 12:27 PM
hey butch get real bud..Of course we all know about the chemicals making the bugs stronger..Just look at round up..How many times they change their chemicals?...they change it every 2 years because the bugs get used to the pesticide...Sound like an alien?..really talk to any much there butch....Maybe too many chemicals?.....Its a known fact that the bugs can become immune to chemicals..Just look at cockroaches..Why do we think they will survive a nuclear disaster?..because you can put one in the microwave and it will survive...Why? because we have used over 100 different chemicals over time to rid these cockroaches...You need some education...and some xanax
John Roberts March 06, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Was not saying humans mutate...lol..let me put it like this...As we eat foods that have pesticides already in the seeds that are planted to "Stop" bugs form attacking the plants....now we can only use the chemicals as they are for a couple of years.this is because the bugs get used to the chemicals and end up attacking the crops...thoes chemicals are consumed by us...Our bodies do not like the chemicals..Every chemical Monsanto uses "maker of roundup" is "known tot he state of California to cause cancer"...Cancer is whats telling us the foods we eat our bodies do not like....Now this happens to all the bugs..As people use RID to get rid of bugs..The RID product becomes useless..and the chemicals have to be changed in order to be a competitive product...these chemicals alter the body and alter the DNA of unborn children..BUT know why Monsanto never has to admit it?...Because OBAMA made Monsantos lobbyest head of the FDA..when he so called got rid of the lobbyests and Monsanto has threatened to sue independant company including the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT if they do any testing on their chemicals...THE EXACT SAME THING THE IMMUNIZATION COMPANIES THREATENED TO DO...Immunization companies are the ONLY ones allowed to do testing on their own products....Screw Chemicals s what i am saying
McCloud March 06, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Idiotic things? Like millions of Africans who died as result of the banning?
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 01:45 PM
@Mr Roberts my snarky comment u sound like an alien was not meant for u it was for Terry the middle of the roader who sees the best in everything evil sorta like the Obama appointments one pro environment the other u cannot be more opposite than having Monsanto in the cabinet, and now we know why he and his new Sec State like the phony corporate AG are moderates. OBAMA is the best SOCIALIST the Roundtable ever had what would the market be with a ROBME in the WH? LOOK at the TERRY ALIEN POSTS i did not articulate the response to what u said and then the #*** have done their best to edit and plant viruses and malware on my PC , THAT IS more than a bit annoying and something in his and your interpretation of my post on these related subjects, like Yakima,Fukishima and Red Gate woods, too bad we can't share the experience I have every intention of finding out just how much freedom there really is on the internet these days.
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 01:55 PM
MR ROBERTS i also have the same regard for chemicals and Big Pharma and more young people also do, which is bad news for the Cayman islanders and Obama Roundtable, DDT it seems is one of the false flag reactions the scum like patches and his colleagues run on these blogs to get off on it diverts the attention away from serious issues like abortion and the other things that occupy the congress and moron TPARTY state house they are concerned about the loss of cannon fodder and guinea pigs how can they wave the flag if there are not enough cannon fodder! screw them with he chem's!
The Truth March 06, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Hey Chicago! You're a big city and have a BIG bug problem. When I first moved to Chicago, I couldn't believe how must dust my 3rd level apartment accumulated within one week. After about 2 months, I discovered that it wasn't dust - it was DIRT! Black, filthy, soot covering everything. I also realized I had to clean my dogs ears much more frequently. This was in fancy "Andersonville". Hey, it's the city. Nevermind the glass shards everywhere while trying to walk your dogs in this "green" city that doesn't even have a bottle return law. This BIG bug problem is further slowing your "condo" sales and even their rentals. It's being HIDDEN by "associations". Worry about that "da man" right now and forget about Bishop Tutu, Republicans and "green" rooftops. Clean up your own backyard first. You're no different than that yuppie wannabe Mom in tony Lakeview East complaining about the cigarette smoker on the corner 2 blocks down while she's jib-jabbering on her "smart" phone totally oblivious that she's blocking the entire sidewalk with a stroller and..........at a bus stop with lil' Biff Jr. surrounded in a cloud of CTA #36 exhaust. Just plain stupid too.
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 05:18 PM
@Truth great job, Clean up! these rat pol's are only listening to the AIPAC and CAYMAN ISLAND lobbyists the soot and dirt everywhere are only a sample of what it will be when the BP REFINERY comes on line and starts refining the tars from th Dakotas and Canada,read Roberts post on the bugs and solution. It is all about the money the new congresswoman of the 2nd Dist has not won but assuming ---the first thing she does is go to the AIPAC DINNER to get her marching orders aka more money for Israel, the 2nd dist is not a disaster it is a blighted health hazard in many places and Kelly is guaranteeing the Zionist state has her support it is the dirt and soot problem, it is every problem nothing else matters so the dirt debris piles up and Rahm is now on the long list of POTUS in 16,the son of a IRGUN terrorist is not into cleaning up Andersonville or So Chgo he has to be clean the wailing wall and make it safe for jews, Fundy charlatans and predators alike to pray the dummies never wake up! .
BUTCH March 06, 2013 at 05:28 PM
McCLOUD i find it hard yer concern is over any millions of Africans, more like the millions lost by DOW, roundup and the other Chemical poisoners if their poison saved a million lives( hardly) they did not count the 100 million of species INCLUDING HUMANS that are gone or mutated! U must be a colleague moron of patch61!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something