Bedbugs have sparked alarm in Paris where residents have reported sightings of the creatures on cinema seats and public transport.
It might not be long until the bedbugs hitch a ride to London on the Eurostar and unwitting tourists could be transporting them home in their luggage right now.
A travel expert has explained how she avoids carting bedbugs home with her and her technique might surprise some tourists.
Writing for Slate, Susan Rigetti said: “The single most effective thing you can do? Keep your luggage in the bathtub. Because bedbugs can’t climb smooth surfaces, they can’t climb up into bathtubs. Ever.”
Susan said she puts her luggage straight into her hotel room’s bathtub whenever she travels overseas.
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She said: “I then do a quick check of the mattress and all other furniture in the room. If I don’t see anything that looks bedbuggy, I bring the suitcase out of the tub.
“If I don’t see anything but still don’t feel 100 percent convinced, the suitcase stays in the tub until I need to use the tub, at which point the suitcase comes out of the tub but stays in the bathroom.”
Susan said if there’s no bathtub, she still keeps her suitcase in the bathroom and hopes the bathroom floor is slippery enough to stop the bedbugs.
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Although their name suggests that bedbugs are only found in a bed, the creatures can actually thrive on other soft furnishings.
Tourists might want to check their room’s curtains, carpets and other soft furnishings before settling into their hotel room.
A hotel worker warned guests to turn off the light when they arrive at a new hotel. She said using a phone flashlight might expose more bugs.
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Tourists should check under the corners of their mattress for any suspicious signs, such as eggs or blood spots. Bedbugs like to hide in dark corners.
The bites usually look red on white skin and purple on black or brown skin, according to the NHS. They can be itchy and there may be swelling.
If tourists think their hotel might have bedbugs, they should contact reception straight away and wash all their clothes on a hot wash immediately.
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