If you don’t do this with your luggage when you travel, your trip (and life) may be ruined

You did it. You navigated the commute to the airport, you survived the hell that is the security line and somehow survived the flight despite the screaming babies and person who didn’t understand the concept of personal space sitting next to you. And now you are finally in the hotel room where you can actually start your vacation.

Whether that be collapsing on the bed for some rest or dropping your bags and starting right off an adventure whatever you do, do not throw your luggage on the bed and skip away. For lurking below those pristine white sheets and pillows is a universe of gross, invasive bed bugs that will ruin your vacation (and your life) temporarily.

Entomologist Brittany Campell told Apartment Therapy bed bugs, which infest beds, couches, and clothing, love to jump from the bed into your suitcase and make themselves at home in your clothing where they will then feast on your blood. Yes, you probably think your hotel room is super clean (certainly cleaner than your home) but alas the bed bugs can still get in there. At home infestations are definitely more common and better documented but 68% of respondents to a survey who had bed bugs had recently stayed in a hotel or motel so you do the math.

“Bedbugs are extremely skilled hitchhikers due to their ability to survive in temporary habitats, such as personal luggage,” Campbell said. So what should you do besides just never going anywhere again? Put your luggage in the bathroom, specifically in the tub. Yes, people may think it is strange but you will be laughing all the way to the…place where people go who don’t have bed bugs (so anywhere.) It is harder for bedbugs to infest (and climb around) a bathroom so your luggage should be safe in there but still be sure to do a thorough check (pull back the sheets of the bed and look for tiny skin shedding stains.)

Campell said even luggage racks can be a target for bed bugs if they have hollow legs so you should probably embrace bathroom life.

Keep this in mind as pest professionals cite summer as the busiest month for bed bugs.