This November I will be travelling to Texas, USA and am planning on staying in both Airbnb's and motels/inns. My partner is scared the quality (regarding cleanliness and bugs) of the motels/inns will be bad, however they are sometimes just much better value for us.

We've never run into bedbugs here in the EU luckily and are unaware of how big the problem really is. While searching for reviews/tips on motels/inns/hotels we found quite a lot of comments and warnings about bedbugs, which worried us.

How big is the bedbug problem in the US really?
Is it something we can 'expect' in motels/inns?
How big is the chance we will run into bedbugs?

We're staying in five different motels/inns, all by the 'choice hotels' chain, preferably Econolodge.

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    Bedbugs are brought into a hotel by people— guests and workers— so their presence is only loosely correlated with cleanliness standards. Even Switzerland had a panic last year, and some of the most highly publicized incidents in New York have naturally occurred at some of its most exclusive hotels— the Ritz-Carlton, the Waldorf Astoria, and the Astor on the Park, among others, where a single night might cost $5000.
    – choster
    Aug 2, 2016 at 16:32
  • You're much more likely to pick up cockroaches. Just about every time I've traveled to Texas (yearly), I end up with them in my house.
    – mkennedy
    Aug 2, 2016 at 18:04
  • Note also that if someone just doesn't like a hotel or has some lingering grudge against it, leaving a false review that says "bedbugs" is a rather powerful way to hit back. So take such reviews with a grain of salt. Feb 16, 2017 at 20:01
  • Contrary to this, the only time bedbugs have encountered me was in a hotel in the EU, Slovenia specifically, while I have been to easily 50 US hotels without any such unpleasant surprise.
    – Itai
    Feb 16, 2017 at 20:31

2 Answers 2


Living (and traveling) in the US, I have never in a decade encountered any bed bugs. Maybe if you stay in the hourly-hotels class, I wouldn't know, but even the cheapest chain hotels cannot afford this to happen.

I think it's mostly a hype and not a serious problem at all.

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    What types of accommodation do you normally use in the US? Aug 2, 2016 at 11:51
  • Hotels - sometimes high-end (business travel), often low-end (personal travel), but always brands - like Super8, motel6, etc.
    – Aganju
    Aug 2, 2016 at 11:52
  • @Aganju does Econolodge / Choice Hotels count as a brand as well?
    – Summer
    Aug 2, 2016 at 12:08
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    Yes. I have used those too, multiple times, with no issues
    – Aganju
    Aug 2, 2016 at 12:09
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    There has been a serious infestation in NYC that affected even high-end hotels. I haven't heard of any similar problem elsewhere. Aug 2, 2016 at 15:14

There is no perfect answer to this question. Some hotels are doing a good job to control this problem while some others don't really care enough about it. This is usually linked to the hotel rate/classification but you'll always find exceptions.

If you are really worried about it, you can buy some tablets that you'll put below the mattress. Those are made of essential oil and will kill all the bed bugs in few hours. I won't advertise any specific product here but you can easily find some via Google.

  • There are also various types of portable bedbug trap you could put out in a darkened room when you check in and leave out while you're out that might identify a problem before it's time to sleep. Not tried any, though. Aug 2, 2016 at 11:53
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    There are no magic tablets that will stop a bedbug infestation - if it were that easy, then no hotel would ever have bedbug problems. Bedbugs are notoriously hard to get rid of even with strong insecticides.
    – Johnny
    Aug 2, 2016 at 16:19
  • Yes there is... Tested and approved... Won't advertise here because this isn't the purpose but there are some efficient products destroying bedbugs in few hours and hotels are using these...
    – Olielo
    Aug 2, 2016 at 16:22

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