Why you shouldn't only look for little monsters under (or in) the bed.

By Melanie Lieberman
January 21, 2016
Rental Car Bedbugs
Credit: Getty Images

Thought you were safe from those nasty, insidious bed bugs outside of your New York apartment? Think again.

Not only are bedbugs a problem in hotels worldwide (remember that horrifying video from earlier this month?) but you should even be on the lookout for bloodsucking mites in your rental car.

After all, bed bugs don’t really discriminate between horizontal and vertical victims: all they need is a dark, cozy place to sleep while waiting for their next meal to arrive. And a car seat will work as well as the lining of your suitcase, or your hotel bed.

To avoid bringing any hitchhikers home with you, make sure to take precautions. Our friends at The Drive recommend researching rental agencies and checking for bed bug reports, examining the seats (especially the seams) and the trunk for eggs or ink spot-like stains. Of course, an actual bug scampering away from the light should raise a red flag, too.

Still feeling paranoid? The Drive suggests parking your potential mobile infestation somewhere hot, rolling up the windows, and taking a half hour stroll. In just 30 minutes on an 85-degree day, temperatures can soar as high as 122-degrees Fahrenheit: an instant bed bug killer.

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure—and a bed bug survivor. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.