How can I avoid bed bugs when I travel?

With the resurgence of bed bugs all over France and the world, prevention is the key to identifying the presence of bed bugs when travelling. Here’s a list of precautions to take to avoid bringing them into your home, as well as places that are regularly infested.

How do you know if there are bed bugs in your holiday accommodation?

Places with a high turnover of travellers represent a high risk of bed bug infestation. This can be the case in hotels, even 5-star ones (the presence of bed bugs is not linked to the issue of hygiene), mountain refuges, youth hostels, bed and breakfasts, etc. How to detect the presence of bed bugs?

Start by checking online bed bug registers or reviews of the accommodation before you book it. Once there, leave your luggage in front of the room door and carry out a general inspection of the premises. If you discover bed bugs in your accommodation, report them immediately to the staff so that they can implement the necessary treatment to eradicate them. There are several signs that bed bugs may be present.

How to detect the presence of bedbugs
Bedbug marks on mattress

· Inspecting bed bug hiding places

Start by checking the bed by lifting the sheets and inspecting the mattress, especially the seams and folds. Lift the mattress and check the bed base for live insects, moulting skins and eggs. Check behind the headboard, bedside tables, behind furniture and pictures, in the curtains, under the carpets and in all the dark places (cracks, skirting boards, etc.).

· Bed bug marks on the wall

You can also detect the presence of bed bugs by inspecting the walls, especially at the headboard or against the bed, skirting boards, sockets or in cracks and crevices in the bedroom. Bed bugs leave black spots, which are a sign of their excrement. These clues can point you in the direction of an infestation.

· Bed bug marks on mattress

Inspect the mattress and bed linen for small bloodstains. Bed bugs feed on the blood of their prey while they sleep, biting them. A bed bug takes between 10 and 20 minutes to draw blood from a sleeper. So it’s not uncommon for people to squash bed bugs while they’re sleeping, leaving trails of blood on the sheets.

· Recognising bed bugs

Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, and are about the size of a flattened apple seed, or 4 to 7 mm long when fully grown. Bed fleas are generally brown in colour, but can be red when gorged with blood. The insect is flat, oval-shaped and wingless. A female lays between 200 and 500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are whitish, about the size of a pinhead, and look like translucent grains of rice.

Finally, bed bugs come out at night to feed on human blood, while during the day they remain hidden in their hiding places (wall cracks, behind furniture, in mattress seams, in night table drawers, behind the skirting boards, etc.). To find out more, see our dedicated article on how do you know if you have bedbugs?

· Bed bugs: symptoms

The presence of bed bugs can be detected after a night spent in an infested hotel. In fact, if you wake up with spots clustered on your skin in a row in the form of red, raised spots, you may be the victim of bed bug bites. In most cases, their bites cause itching, especially in the morning. These may disappear after a few hours. In some people, bedbug bites can cause allergic reactions such as hives.

How to recognise a bedbug
Avoid bringing bedbugs into your home

How do you protect yourself from bedbugs when travelling?

If you discover bedbugs in your accommodation, report them immediately to the staff. In this way, they can plan for the professionals to come in or carry out the appropriate treatments themselves to avoid a massive infestation.

Can you carry bedbugs around with you?

Yes, it’s possible to have bedbugs on you, they can embed themselves in your clothes. During travel, these pests can find their way into our luggage without you even realising it. So it’s imperative to be vigilant to avoid bringing bedbugs into your home. Here are our tips and precautions for maximum protection against bed bugs:

  • Backpacks: when you arrive at your hotel or holiday accommodation, place your luggage on a luggage rack, on a high table or on the bathroom floor. Don’t put your suitcase on the bed or on the floor to prevent bed bugs from getting into your belongings. NB: prefer light-coloured, hard-shelled plastic cases to prevent bedbugs from clinging to them; you’ll be able to detect the presence of insects right away. If your luggage is made of fabric, wrap it in a large airtight bag.
  • Clothing: keep your clothes in your suitcase, and avoid scattering them on the ground. On the last day of your stay, pack all your clothes in a sealed bin bag.
  • Shoes: Place your shoes outside if possible, on the balcony for example.
  • Repellent: Using an anti-bedbug repellent is an effective way to protect yourself from bedbugs and avoid bringing them home.

Bedbug repellent travel kit

Before you leave, spray all your belongings with a preventive treatment to protect them from these pests.

At Sereni-d, we’ve developed Shield Bedbugs for long-lasting, durable protection. Our natural repellent, composed of plant pyrethrum flower extract combined with a mixture of essential oils, repels bed bugs by disrupting their olfactory receptors.

Our ready-to-use spray is recommended for hikers, travellers and when you are at home. Simply apply the treatment to bedding, clothing and luggage.

100% natural solution

SHIELD Bed Bug for Clothing

Ready-to-use spray that uses principles inspired by nature, specially developed for preventive bedbug control.

  • Preventive spray against bedbugs
  • Repels bedbugs as a preventive measure
  • Durable, safe and long-lasting protection
  • Over 50,000 satisfied Sereni-d® customers


Inspecting your suitcase to prevent bedbugs

On your return from a trip: tips to avoid bringing bedbugs home

Once you’re back home, and before re-entering your home, inspect your luggage, ideally outside to avoid introducing pests into your home, or if that’s not possible, do it in your bathtub. Check for black streaks or bedbugs themselves. If you find some, take the necessary steps to eradicate them. However, it is also advisable to take preventive action.

Treat your clothing and luggage with a natural bedbug spray. At Sereni-d, we’ve developed the natural SOS curative treatment against bedbugs. It eradicates bedbugs and their eggs that may be in your belongings. Bedbug eggs are very small and not always detectable.

In addition, put your laundry in the washing machine at 60°C (worn and unworn clothes and towels). If you have a tumble dryer, it can eliminate eggs, larvae and the last of the bed bugs.

Finally, vacuum your suitcase, paying particular attention to the seams and folds, as these hiding places are particularly popular with bed bugs. Once you’ve vacuumed your luggage, remember to dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the bin into an airtight bag to prevent it from spreading.

Hotels, mountain refuges, dormitories, public transport: places frequently infested with bedbugs

Certain places are ideal for the development of bedbugs. This is the case for places with a high turnover of travellers, such as the famous GR20 in Corsica, the Way of Compostela or the Stevenson Way – GR70. Thousands of people travel these roads every year, and the adventure can turn into a nightmare if you don’t take precautions. The same is true of public transport, where bedbugs often proliferate.

Indeed, whether it is the ferries, high mountain refuges, hotels, youth hostels or even Airbnb rooms or holiday homes, they can be infested. Any type of lodging can be affected, from a 5-star resort to a roadside hotel.

Bedbug infestation
Avoid bedbugs in Airbnb rentals

What precautions should you take if you rent out a room or your house on Airbnb?

To avoid and prevent a bedbug infestation if you rent out your accommodation, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a minimalist decor with as little furniture as possible. This will give you a clearer picture if a bedbug infestation begins.
  • Avoid carpets, and prefer smooth floors, which are easier to clean and less practicable for bed bugs.
  • Use a mattress protector with double plastic protection. This will prevent bed bugs from reaching the mattress.
  • Wash and dry bed linen. Wash at 60°C to kill any insects. The tumble dryer destroys eggs, larvae and even the toughest bedbugs.
  • Vacuum every nook and cranny of the room, and be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag in an airtight bag.
  • Place a luggage rack in the room to prevent travellers from putting their suitcases and bags on the bed.

Sereni-d solution for protection against bedbug bites

Whether you’re travelling, hiking or at home, protect yourself from bedbug bites withSereni-d Anti-Bite Body. This natural repellent spray repels bedbugs as a preventive measure for long-lasting, safe protection.

Formulated with Geraniol extract, essential and plant oils, it will be your ally when you’re on the move or in case of suspected bedbugs.

Bed bugs Body ANTI-BITE

Body repellent spray - Against bed bug bites - 100mL

• Body spray to repel bed bug bites
• Repels bed bugs as a preventive measure
• Durable, safe and long-lasting protection
• Over 50,000 satisfied Sereni-d® customers



Standard delivery free from 35 € of purchase
Plant-based active ingredients Plant-based active ingredients
Pleasant fragrance Pleasant fragrance
Does not stain Does not stain
Swiss Lab Swiss Lab