Nearly 60% of Americans said they were worried about hidden cameras in Airbnb homes in 2019. And 11% of vacation home renters said they had discovered a hidden camera during a stay.
The number of hidden spy camera reports has proliferated because of the increasing accessibility and inexpensiveness of such cameras, combined with the public’s growing ability to detect them, said Kenneth Bombace, CEO of intelligence firm Global Threat Solutions.
Experts share simple methods to locate hidden spy cameras in hotel rooms and rental properties.
1. Conduct a physical search
When looking for hidden cameras, start with areas like bathrooms and bedrooms, Bombace said.
Airbnb hosts are allowed to have cameras in their houses, but they must inform guests and the cameras must not be placed in private spaces, he said.
Almost all covert cameras are concealed in household devices, such as lights, thermostats, and plugged clock radios, Bombace said.
“Look and see if anything looks like it’s out of the ordinary, and then inspect it closer,” he said.
Most spy cameras are connected to an electrical source or an electronic device, Bombace added.
He said the first thing he does in a bedroom is unplug the clock radios and put them in a drawer.
Michael O’Rourke, CEO of security consulting firm Advanced Operational Concepts, also said he does exactly that.
Even well-hidden cameras will have a small amount of reflective glass from the lens, Bombace said.
“If you use flashlights and shine them on something you think could possibly hide the camera, you will see a reflection in there, which is a pretty good way of detecting if there’s a camera,” he said.
But O’Rourke said care is needed to accurately locate hidden lenses.
“A lot of people will try to do amateur lens detection, which can work,” O’Rourke said. “However, if you don’t have a good search methodology — if you go too fast, if you’re impatient — you can miss quite a bit.”
2. Look at the Wi-Fi network
A hidden camera must be connected to a local Wi-Fi network in order to be viewed remotely, Bombace said.
Wi-Fi scanning apps like Fing can identify devices on the network that are cameras, he said.
Those who hide cameras might use a separate Wi-Fi network to stream live video footage, but Wi-Fi scanning apps can also detect how many networks are in a residence, Bombace said.
But Kody Kinzie, a security researcher at data security and analytics firm Varonis, warned that a network scanner may not catch everything.
“The next thing you can do is look for devices that are broadcasting their own network name,” he said.
He recommended using apps like WiGLE to find devices that are “broadcasting some sort of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network name,” Kinzie added.
3. Buy a spy camera detector
If all else fails, spy camera detectors can scan for radio frequencies connected to hidden cameras. These can be easily bought online from websites like Amazon or AliExpress.
But O’Rourke noted this method works only if the hidden camera is transmitting data.
“So many of them now have SD cards that just store data to be retrieved after someone leaves,” O’Rourke said. “And so these are much more difficult to detect.”
What to do if you find a camera
After locating a camera, immediately disconnect it without damaging it because the camera’s firmware may contain identifying information, such as login credentials and the Wi-Fi network it was connected to, Kinzie said.
O’Rourke said hidden cameras found in hotel rooms should be reported to the front desk. He advised then moving to another hotel instead of requesting another room.
“Once you find a camera in a room, I wouldn’t trust any other room in that entire hotel,” he said.
Bombace also recommended reporting hidden cameras to the police, even if it is just for documentation purposes, in case litigation or criminal charges should follow.
“You could also provide [the report] to Airbnb so they can prevent this person from ever doing this again,” he said.
But ultimately, Bombace said, he would not avoid renting a home over fears of spy cameras.
“I would just take common sense steps to protect yourself. And realize you’re not in your own home,” he said.
Once you know when to plant beets you’ll be able to enjoy this delicious vegetable freshly grown throughout most of the year.
Beets are a delicious root vegetable, which are dense with nutrients, including potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin C, plus a good dose of nitrates.
There are so many ways the entire family can enjoy this tasty crop – it can even be used as a natural sweetener in a chocolate cake. With so many incredible recipes to choose from, once you know how to grow beets, they make a great addition to any home kitchen garden.
When to plant beets
The best time of year to plant beets very much depends on how you are starting them. You can either direct sow beets as part of your vegetable garden ideas or start them inside when you are planning a greenhouse and then transplant them out later on.
‘Beets are a fantastic early season crop when soils are just starting to warm up. Most varieties want to grow in cooler weather when the soil has thawed and frosts have stopped. For when to plant beets if direct seeding, you should wait until soil temps are around 44°F (7°C),’ advises Angelo Kelvakis, master horticulturist at Rise Gardens.
However, you can also start seedlings indoors and transplant them out at a later date. This will give your beets a bit of an early start and could result in an earlier crop. Time the planting so you get successive crops of these and other veg by checking when to plant vegetables.
‘For transplanting – starting your seeds in a greenhouse, cold frame, or indoors – you can start them 5 weeks before the last frost and soil temps are still cold. Transplanting is a great way to ensure that your germination is successful,’ suggests Kelvakis.
What month do you plant beets?
The best month for when to plant beets can vary. Nick Welsh from Seed Craft advises to ‘succession sow from early spring to mid-summer,’ to ensure a long crop harvest.
‘Beets are an amazing vegetable that are perfect for early and late season growing and can be stored after harvest for up to 6 months,’ adds Angelo Kelvakis.
As beets only require a minimum of 44°F (7°C) soil temperature to germinate, they are quite hardy and therefore a brilliant crop to start early in the gardening year.
‘Beetroot is among the easiest vegetables to grow, so you almost can’t go wrong as long as you have soil and water,’ reassures Nick.
How late can you start beets?
The latest time you can start beets will very much depend on your hardiness zone.
As a general rule, Kelvakis suggests, ‘the last time of year for when to plant beets is when temperatures start getting hot. When the summer time hits, it’s time to take a beet break. Beets can handle soil temps up to 84°F (29°C). So be sure to monitor your soil temps with a soil thermometer in the summer time.’
An alternative is to plant beets in containers as part of your vegetable garden container ideas and then you can move the pots to cooler spots if the temperature rises.
If you’ve left it until late summer or fall to start planting your beets, ‘you can try using row covers – you can get them at most gardening stores and they can be placed over your crops to increase the air and soil temps. Row covers can get you another month or so of growing, depending on your setup and how cold it gets where you are growing,’ advises Kelvakis.
How long does it take to grow beets?
The length of time it takes for beets to grow and reach full maturity very much depends on the variety you are growing, as well as the specific soil conditions of your growing zone.
Nick Welsh suggests you should ‘try to sow a different variety each time as this avoids a glut of just one type. There are so many great varieties out there to chose from,’ he says.
On average, beets take around 7-8 weeks from sowing to harvest.
Do beets like full sun?
Beets are a shade tolerant crop so are among the vegetables to grow in shade that will fare well in areas with less than 4 hours of sun a day.
‘Don’t sow too many seeds as most beetroot are cluster seeds and each seed can produce up to 6 plants,’ Nick Welsh advises.
‘Do not thin out – just pull alternate roots allowing smaller ones to continue growing.’
Now that you know when to plant beets, you will be able to successfully grow them in your own kitchen garden and should be well on the way to harvesting an abundance of fresh produce.
There is so much to love about hydrangeas. Showy blooms, cottage appeal, what’s not to love? But add in those brand-new varieties with blooms that keep on hitting all summer long, like the grand finale at a fireworks show, and you’ve got some happy gardeners. While their bloom cycle is certainly appealing, the fact that they make it a little easier on their caretakers by blooming on both new and old growth makes them no-brainers. That means you can be a little more prune-happy and things could still fare okay.
That being said, knowledge and restraint will get you far with this Southern-favorite flower. Give your reblooming hydrangeas their best shot at the ultimate summer floral show by pruning with care—not to mention at the right time. There are limits, after all, to even the most forgiving of varieties.
Do: Prune in the Late Winter and Shape at the End of Summer
Reblooming hydrangea varieties like ‘Limelight,’ ‘Endless Summer,’ and ‘Twist-n-Shout’ don’t discriminate when it comes to where their blooms originate. Old wood, new wood, it’s all the same if you’ve got that reblooming magic. For that reason, they aren’t as finicky with their pruning as the popular ‘Nikko Blue’ and other once-a-season bloomers that can miss out on their highly anticipated floral show if you prune too late. Reblooming hydrangeas should be pruned at the tail-end of winter or early spring in order to encourage lots of new growth.
It will be time to give your hydrangea a little more attention once the summer starts to wane. “At the end of the blooming season, be sure to remove dead buds and stems, as well as shape the entire hydrangea while pruning,” says Dan Stuppiello, division merchandise manager of Live Goods at The Home Depot. Your get-ahead plan will make all the difference when next summer rolls along.
Do: Prune Flowers at the Right Spot
Take stock of your stems before you get out the shears. According to Stuppiello, old blooms that have faded should be cut back just above new buds, so that you don’t lose any future blooms in the process. You’ll be rewarded with healthier flowers that are ready for their own moment in the sun. In order to keep the blooms coming, Stuppiello also recommends fertilizing. “An all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer is good to use in the spring,” he says. And in response to the ever-popular color question, he shares: “Small amounts of sulfur will turn the bloom a deeper blue or pink color, however sulfur will not change the color of a true white hydrangea.”
Do: Cut Weak Stems
It’s not all about the blooms. Weak stems, dead branches, and browned-to-a-crisp leaves have all got to go as soon as they’re spotted. As for blooms that have their best days behind them, you should go ahead and take care of those too. “For these types of hydrangeas, it’s encouraged to prune almost immediately after their flowers have faded,” says Stuppiello. He recommends trimming just above the new buds to ensure you keep getting that season-long bloom time you’re after.
Don’t: Guess Which Variety You Have
Rule number one in caring for your hydrangeas: Know what you’re working with. “It’s important to cater to the needs of your hydrangeas and follow the plant tag instructions to ensure optimal growth for the following season,” says Stuppiello. You should be aware of what type and variety of hydrangea you have in order to best suit its needs—starting with where it’s planted. Know your zones, stay in your lane, and whatever you do, just make sure you’ve done your hydrangea homework.
We finish our trip with a 2-day visit to Salt Lake City before heading home to Chicago. SLC is a beautiful, clean city with an abundance of things to do, with one caveat. Seeing the sites on Sunday, as we did, might disappoint some of you. SLC, being a Mormon dominated city, is virtually closed at least in the downtown area. Even Macy’s was shuttered for the day. Finding an open restaurant, impossible.
Monday, however, the city comes to life with a 2 1/2-hour shuttle tour of the area in the offing. Photos are of the 2 days we enjoyed on our extended weekend trip in SLC.
One venue always open on Sunday is the Morman Tabernacle and its’ famous pipe organ.
It is open to the public on Sundays.
And this is the world-famous organ with a short recital (maybe tuning the pipes).
At 11:00, it’s time for mass down the street at the Cathedral of the Madeleine with its magnificent altar, stained glass windows and its own pipe organ.
We happened to attend a mass that featured a 20-voice choir accompanied by the organ.
This smaller organ rivaled the sound of the Mormon Tabernacle organ.
More sightseeing. We visit “The Place” or “This is the Place” Heritage Park. It is named in honor of Brigham Young’s famous statement in 1847 that the Latter-day Saint pioneers should settle in the Salt Lake Valley.
The monument that features Brigham Young and the pioneers who crossed the Rockies in a 4-month ordeal.
A typical wagon used by the pioneers on their journey.
Lastly, a tribute to the Pony Express riders (Sorry about the raindrops).
Thoroughly exhausted (who knew sitting for 4 days could be so tiring), we board our flight back to Chicago, just missing a violent thunderstorm that occurred just prior to arrival.
Not our plane!
It’s good to be home, but we are both ready for more adventures. Any suggestions?
Flying over the Rockies is an awesome, bumpy ride. My wife and I decided to take Amtrak thru the Rockies to get a close-up view of what we had been seeing from 30,000 feet. Here are some of the highlights.
Yes, our train: The California Zephyr rounding one of many bends.
And yes, that is snow on top of the Rocky Mountains in June.
The Zephyr stops to let passengers on/off and for a short stop for picture taking.
Rapids anyone? That’s a long way down!
These pictures don’t capture the majesty of the Rockies. Many, many times the train slows to a crawl because we are so close to the mountainside. There is a 3-wire barrier next to the track that protects the Zephyr from the mountain boulders that could come crashing down at any time because of the train’s movement.
Looks like fun. Maybe try that next time.
Leaving the spectacular Rockies behind, we ride into Utah and the Wasatch Mountain range as the sun sets.
We are scheduled for a 11:05 p.m. arrival time in Salt Lake City, however, freight still rules the rails, so we wait outside of SLC as the freight trains clear out. So, at 11:45, we detrain and head for our hotel, the itch having been scratched for now. I’m wondering how the Rockies would look under a pure white blanket of snow in winter.
Our adventure continues the next day, as we explore downtown Salt Lake City.
Chicago to Denver, Denver to Salt Lake City and back to Chicago…in an extended weekend. My wife and I, Whew! What a ride. Ride along with us, won’t you?
Welcome aboard. It all started at ORD, Chicago’s humongous airport on the furthest northwest reaches of the city. I was thinking our 2:30 flight to Denver should be a breeze, right? Wrong! It’s Friday afternoon and business travelers are scrambling to get a flight home, college students, ditto, or going off to party. Anyway, the TSA line… it’s like someone is giving away free food. I have never seen a line of people so long, so filled with bored, grumpy looking individuals. OMG. And so, we enter the line. Uh, do we need to pack a lunch? No, a beady-eyed TSA guy says. “No food allowed. No beverages allowed. Not in your hand, not in your carryon. Eat it now, drink it now, or toss it.” Welcome to today’s travel nightmare.
Lois, my ever-lovin, goes ahead of me in the line, then I go. I get thru it with no prob, but Lois gets a “random” pat-down from an agent. “Every time”, she explains to no one in particular. I begin to see why people are so grumpy.
After the TSA experience, it’s off to find the gate. Naturally, it involves walking to the other concourse which means walking about a 1/2-mile underground to get to Gate C-24. But we still have plenty of time to reach it and we do without stopping for lunch along the way.
Not surprised, we get to the gate to find our plane has been delayed due to lack of a crew. Our 2:30 is now 4:45 and counting. Not to worry, the plane arrives, passengers get off, the cleaners get on and get it done quickly. Soon we are seated and airborne, on our way to Denver.
(Not our plane)
Along the way, we catch a nice tailwind and end up only 1 hour late. No bags were checked, so it’s time to find our hotel which is located in downtown Denver. There is a handy, but pricey shuttle that takes us there and so we arrive in downtown Denver coincidently at Union Station, the site of our next adventure in the morning.
It’s now Saturday, 9:00 a.m. and we are on Amtrak train #5 to Salt Lake City, Utah only 15 hours away. Getting there at 11:05 p.m. so fingers are once again crossed that we are on time.
(Not our train)
I want you to check out some of the things we saw while on the train, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.