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It’s as much a part of the hotel furniture as the TV stand or the minibar, but the humble luggage rack has a dual purpose. If you’ve been putting your suitcase next to your bed or on the floor in your hotel room, you might rethink your behaviour after reading this.
Sure, the hotel room luggage rack keeps your suitcase at a handy height, but it can also stop the spread of bed bugs.
A new study published in Scientific Reports has found that there has been a rapid expansion in bed bugs across the globe, most likely caused by cheap air travel.
The study found that bed bugs are attracted to the odour of sleeping humans, and dirty laundry gives off a similar attraction. If travellers leave worn clothing in close proximity to sleeping areas, the nasty little critters take the opportunity to hitchhike on the dirty clothes.
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The results found that bags containing dirty clothes were significantly more likely to attract bed bugs than those containing clean clothes.
“Consequently, soiled clothing left in an open suitcase, or left on the floor, of an infested room is likely to attract bed bugs,” the report states. “When packed into the suitcase, they will accompany their host back home.”
“Careful management of holiday clothing may be an important strategy in the prevention of bringing home bed bugs.”
While you may not think you’re staying somewhere that would have bedbugs, it can’t hurt to be safe.
By using the luggage rack in your room, you are elevating your suitcase off the floor, making it significantly harder for bed bugs to get inside and contaminate your clothing. When you’re not using the suitcase, as an extra precautionary measure you can zip it up.
Try not to leave dirty clothes lying around in your hotel room and if you're particularly worried about bringing bed bugs home, do your laundry before leaving your holiday destination.