Experts Warn of Bed Bug Activity as Travelers Embark on Bucket List Vacations

The National Pest Management Association is educating Americans on the importance of bed bug inspections and prevention during summer travel season  

FAIRFAX, VA (June 5, 2023) – After the COVID-19 pandemic brought travel to a halt, many Americans are making up for lost time this summer by booking their dream, bucket list vacations. According to AAA booking data, international travel is up more than 200% compared to last year with key destinations including European cities like London, Paris and Rome. A Deloitte Insights survey also found that half of Americans say they will take a leisure vacation involving a stay in paid lodging this summer, up from 46% in 2022. To protect travelers from unwanted encounters with bed bugs, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is warning Americans about these resilient, bloodsucking pests and urging inspections and prevention during Bed Bug Awareness Week this June 4 – 10.   

Bed bugs are a sight you definitely won’t want to see on your once-in-a-lifetime vacation. According to a new survey from NPMA conducted by the Harris Poll, 38% of Americans are concerned about encountering bed bugs while traveling. However, less than one third (29%) of Americans know how to inspect for bed bugs and only 32% are confident they can identify a bed bug.  

“Bed bugs feed on blood to survive so they are often found in hotel or rental property beds because the humans that sleep there make for an easy meal,” said Jim Fredericks, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for NPMA. “However, it’s important for travelers to know that bed bugs are not only found in beds, they can also hide just about anywhere and have even been found in airplanes, trains and buses.”  

To help travelers prepare for their vacations, NPMA is sharing these key bed bug inspection and prevention tips to help reduce encounters with these hitchhiking pests:  

  • Upon arriving at your hotel room or rental property, thoroughly inspect the entire space before unpacking, including behind headboards, under lights and inside dressers, sofas and chairs. See here for NPMA’s bed bug identification guide.  
  • Pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams and box springs, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. 
  • Avoid placing luggage on furniture or luggage racks where bed bugs can hide unseen.   
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with visual inspections. 
  • If you see anything to suggest bed bugs, change rooms/establishments immediately. Do not stay in an adjacent room.  
  • When returning home from a trip, vacuum and properly inspect suitcases before bringing them into the home. 
  • Wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been worn – on hot cycles. 

“Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can sneak home with you on your clothing or luggage. If you suspect you may have a bed bug issue in your home, contact a pest control professional immediately. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate and require the help of a qualified pest pro,” added Fredericks.   

For more information on bed bugs and prevention tips, visit 


Survey Methodology 

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of NPMA between May 23 - 25, 2023, among 2,049 adults ages 18+. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact 

 About the National Pest Management Association 
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and YouTube and @PestWorldOfficial on Instagram