How to Avoid (YUK!) Bedbugs at Walt Disney World

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If you stay in hotel rooms on vacation, you often hear tales of the dreaded bedbug. The name even sounds horrible. Bedbugs are tiny creatures that look like ticks, and they feed off the blood of animals and humans. If you stay in a hotel room with an infestation, there’s good and bad news.

The good news? They do not transmit any diseases. The bad? Bedbug bites can be irritating, and if you have an allergic reaction to these bites, they are mostly likely going to itch like crazy. You’ll most often find bedbugs in your house or apartment, but the crazy part is, you probably brought them back from a rental home or hotel room. They hide in mattresses, boxsprings, walls, furniture and other hard-to-find places.

Read: How to Beat the Disney Blisters: Prevention and Care

Bed bugs are ¼ of an inch long and they look like this: 

They only bite at night, and get this, they use an anesthetic and an anticoagulant so you don’t notice you were bitten. Some bedbug welts don’t show up until days after your initial bite, which could be after you left your happy place/ hotel room.If you get bit, it will typically be on your hands, arms, face, and neck.

This photo from show what the bites look like. You can read more of their tips to prevent home infestation using this link. 

Now bedbugs at Disney World seem to be rare. I follow so many Disney planning sites on social media that I barely have time to vacuum my own house, and I almost never hear about bedbugs on Disney property. Chances are, with Disney standards being so high, you’ll get lucky. 

But what if you run into some bad luck? Here’s some bug-prevention travel tips so you can have a good “nighty night” without the bedbugs a comin’ to bite.

Read: Official Rules of the Disney Parks (Yes, There are Actually Rules!)

Do This Before You Check Into Your Hotel

Read up on hotel reviews to see if anyone is complaining about recent bedbug infestations.

Do This When You Walk Into Your Hotel Room

While you search the bed, store your luggage in the bathroom.

You’ll be looking over the sheets, mattresses and boxsprings. Check in the seams and by the walls surrounding the headboard. Bedbugs hide in narrow cracks and crevices. If you can slide a business card into a spot, this would be their ideal hiding spot.

You can flip up the mattress and check underneath.

While bedbugs are typically most active at night, during the day they would probably be found within a 5 foot radius of the bed.

Is This What I Think It is?

Bedbugs are easy to detect, and they’ll definitely stand out on white sheets. They are a reddish-brown color.

You might spot exoskeletons, from molting, or dark-brownish spots.


Read: Disney World Tips for Kids: Food and Dining

Do This If You See Something

Call the front desk of the hotel; they are there to help you with the problem. The last thing hotel management wants is an infestation getting out of hand.

Request to be moved at least two floors away from your original buggy room, because bedbugs can hide in walls and travel to the room above and below where you were.

Do This If You See No Signs of Bedbugs in Your Room

Store all your suitcases and pieces of luggage on the provided luggage racks or hard surfaces.

Now stop worrying about bugs and go out and have fun on vacation!

Doing Laundry On-site at the Hotel

Shared laundry facilities are unfortunately the perfect way to transmit bedbugs from one location to another. Carry your laundry in and out of the facility in plastic bags.

Time to Go Home

Once bedbugs creep into your home, it’s costly to get rid of them, and there goes future vacation money, right out the door. Pack everything in either large trash bags, plastic bags with zippers, or hard suitcases. This will make it harder for bedbugs to hitch a ride back to your place. 

Do This When You Get Back Home

Wash your clothes in the washer, drying them in a hot dryer for 30 minutes. Bedbugs die off in environments over 120° Fahrenheit, so simply washing and air-drying your clothes will not kill bedbugs.

Back to that 120° – store your luggage in a hot place like an attic, garage or basement.

Hopefully, it won’t be too long before you need that luggage for another trip. 

Read: Tons of Magic Kingdom Vacation Tips for Kids!

The best way to treat bed bugs is to prevent an infestation from ever occurring, so by taking a few precautions before, during and after your Disney trip, you’ll be using your free time planning the next vacation rather than itching.

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Mike Ellis

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