The competition on reality-television talent shows is stressful enough without the added horror of being nibbled on by bed bugs when you’re trying to rest up for your next performance. That was the uncomfortable reality for several contestants of the hit Fox TV show the The X-Factor who woke up covered with itchy, red bed bug bites. According to a report on entertainment gossip site TMZ, several X-Factor contestants were attacked by bed bugs in their Los Angeles hotel room last week and had to be moved to new quarters.

Bed bugs and hotels seem to go hand-in-hand these days, something holiday travelers should keep in mind, New Jersey pest control experts warn. Since bed bugs began returning to the U.S. in the suitcases of international travelers, hotels and motels have provided the primary path for the nationwide spread of these blood-feeding parasites. Adept hitchhikers, bed bugs hide in dark cracks and crevices between meals. As NJ pest control experts explain, suitcases, backpacks and laptop carriers make perfect hiding places for these noxious pests. Because bed bugs typically live on or near beds to be close to their human food source, the habit most travelers have of tossing suitcases and other items on their hotel bed makes it easy for bed bugs to crawl inside and follow travelers home.

As the recent X-Factor experience shows, bed bugs can be a problem in any hotel. Over the past few years, bed bug infestations have been reported at some of the country’s most luxurious hotels and resorts. Bed bugs are not attracted by food or filth. These equal-opportunity pests are carried from one place to another hidden in people’s suitcases, clothing or other possessions. With travelers constantly coming and going, hotels have become a common and convenient infestation and transfer site for bed bugs.

If you may be traveling this holiday season and you are worried about bed bugs, check out our Could I Have Bed Bugs page before you go.