Warning signs of bed bugs in hotels, including white spots and musty smells

With summer just around the corner folks across the UK will be looking forward to going off on their holidays. But if you are planning to stay in a hotel over the summer, there are other things to consider than just the tea and coffee making facilities.

In certain cases however, guests should be ware otherwise they might inadvertently end up sharing their room with other less welcome guests. Bed bugs can be a problem if hygiene levels fall below a certain point, biting people and causing irritation.

Despite their name, the bugs are not solely confined to living in beds. They also inhabit carpets and upholstery around the house, HullLive reports.

READ MORE: Passengers hit out at Manchester Airport ‘shambles’ this morning with huge queues amid chaotic scenes

But although the bugs are difficult to spot, there are some tell-tale signs they leave. If you know what to look for then this could save you a lot of discomfort.

A spokesperson for MattressNextDay said: “After the past couple of years we all deserve a fantastic holiday this summer and let’s face it none of us wants to be sharing a bed with these little critters. That’s why we recommend holiday makers check out their mattress before they climb between the sheets for the first time in a new bed.

Bed bugs leave telltale signs which can be used to spot them
Bed bugs leave telltale signs which can be used to spot them

“If you do suspect there might be some unwanted guests in your holiday bed there are a few things you can look out for to be sure of the situation before you take it up with the hotel manager. It’s important to spot the signs early so that it doesn’t ruin your holiday and ultimately it doesn’t affect your health. If you do spot signs of bed bugs when you arrive at your hotel or apartment then it is best to notify the appropriate staff immediately.

“More often than not you will find that they will be very accommodating as customer care should be their number one priority. We’d advise anyone who is genuinely worried about bed bugs to take a small bug spray with them in their suitcase, just as a precautionary method.”

eight tell tale signs there may be bed bugs in your hotel room

Unfortunately, this is as gruesome as it sounds. When the bugs get squashed they release a lot of blood, especially around the seams of mattresses – which is where they tend to hide. These spots can start to look a rusty color the longer they have been there. Ensure both sides of the mattress are free from any blood stains before hitting the hay.


It may sound obvious that spotting eggs would be a tell-tale sign of a bug infestation but they’re not always hiding in plain sight. The eggs are tiny and can be found in numerous places, not just on the mattress. They are about 1mm wide and are often a pale yellow colour. If you do find any of these eggs, it could mean the bed bugs are still very much alive and this should be reported immediately.

Musty odour

You may have been to a hotel that smells a little strange before but the odor excreted by bed bugs is certainly distinguishable. If the bedroom area has a strong, musty and unpleasant odor. This could possibly come from a bed bug’s scent glands and is strongest when there are large amounts of bugs present. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to a smelly room and check for other signs too.

Dark spots on walls

Although this is slightly less common, bed bugs can also leave stains on walls too. If you do notice any dark spots this could be bed bug excrement. Make sure not to touch any of the affected areas and notify the hotel or apartment staff straight away.

Bug shells

Much like many other creatures, bugs shed their skin once they begin to grow. When trying to identify a shell you should look for small, husk-like bacon that may crunch if squashed. They are primarily found amongst fabric, so check mattresses, headboards, sofas and any other upholstery.

Worn or aged upholstery

Old fabrics that may not have been cleaned thoroughly or are possibly second hand could house a family of bed bugs. If the place you’re staying is of a slightly older nature or a boutique style, it’s always best to double-check the fabric and furnishings before settling in.

White spots on furniture

Bed bugs also like to lay their eggs in furniture as well as mattresses, especially sofas. These will look like bunches of small white spots from a distance, but on closer inspection, this can be where the bugs have decided to keep their eggs.


If you haven’t spotted any of these signs but have woken up with small, red, itchy spots on your skin, this could be down to the creepy critters. The bites will often form a straight line across a part of your body, this is a hallmark bed bug trait. Mosquitoes and fleas don’t bite in this formation, so if you do notice these red spots it is best to seek medical advice.

Sign up to the Mancunian Way newsletter to get an in depth look at the biggest stories from our region every weekday

What is happening where you live? Find out by adding your postcode or visit InYourArea


Leave a Comment