With the holidays approaching and the travel plans start to pile up, you need to take a moment and think plan about your Bed Bug plan. If you were traveling recently, staying at hotels, traveling through airports or renting cars and you didn’t come home with any unwanted visitors, consider yourself lucky! Although bed bugs don’t spread diseases, they do bite and feed on your blood. and they can be quite a nuisance. Here are a few simple tips to follow so you can have a bed bug free vacation!
- When staying at a hotel, remember, the first thing you want to do when you enter your room is put all your luggage in the bathroom. Missy Heriksen, the VP of public affairs for the National Pest Management, says “They (bedbugs) don’t like the tile floors and there aren’t as many hiding places. They like to be closer to where people are sleeping.”
- After putting your belongings in the bathroom, start your inspection of the room. Pull back the linens on the bed and check the crevices and corners of the mattress and box springs. (Pack a flashlight! It comes in handy.) Also check near the headboard, as that can be a safer spot from the constant changing of the sheets. You are looking for black dots, blood stains and actual bed bugs, dead or alive. Bed bugs are wingless, rust colored insects about the size and shape of an apple seed.
- Expand your search to the rest of your room. Check the nightstand and other areas around the bed. Check dresser drawers and chair cushions. If you see a white powder around the room, it may be an indication that the room was recently treated for bed bugs. Even if no bugs are found, it’s a good idea to keep your suitcase off the floor, as there may be hidden insects in the carpet. On top of the dresser or desk is a perfect place to store it. Don’t keep your clothes laying around, pick them up off the floor and store dirty clothes in plastic bags.
- If you do see signs of bed bugs, tell the front desk immediately and request a room change. Try to get a room that is a least 2 floors always from your initial room. Once in your new room, start the search again.
- When arriving back at home, inspect your luggage for any unwanted hitchhikers. Vacuum out your suitcase and store it away. Wash all your clothes (even the clean ones) in hot water and dry with a high heat.