Bed bugs are not discriminating travelers. They are happy to hide away in any crack or crevice and travel back home with you. And, according to chief entomologist Jim Fredericks from the National Pest Management Association, “They don’t discriminate between a first-class resort or a low-rate motel.”
So how do you prevent the possibility of encountering bed bugs from putting an annoying bite into your vacation? There’s no way to guarantee that bed bugs won’t travel home with you, but there are precautions you can take to drastically reduce their chances and add to your peace-of-mind.
- Bring several garbage bags with you. You can use these to store your luggage in while in the hotel and also to hold your dirty laundry – bed bugs are attracted to the smell of humans, says University of Sheffield entomologist William Hentley, and this smell is stronger in our worn clothing. Garbage bags will help keep the bed bugs out.
- Check your hotel room thoroughly upon arrival. Bring a flashlight with you. Pull back the sheets and mattress cover to check the corners and crevices of the mattress. Look behind the headboard and in any other upholstered furniture. These are the most common places for bed bugs to congregate.
- Always keep your luggage on the luggage racks. Bed bugs cannot crawl up the metal legs. Never leave purses, clothes, computers, or computer bags on the beds or furniture. Also, keep all bags closed when not in use.
- Clean your clothes at the end of your trip. When you arrive home, bring all your luggage into your garage or driveway. Place all clothes, worn or clean, in a plastic bag and take it directly to the washer and dryer. Bed bugs cannot survive in temperatures over 120 degrees. A dryer set on high is capable of killing bedbugs in all of their life stages in 30 minutes.
- Clean your luggage, as well. Luggage and bags that cannot be put through the washer and dryer should be vacuumed thoroughly before being brought into the house.
Remember that bed bug infestations can occur at any time of year, no matter where you travel. This may seem like a lot of work to do at a time when you just want to get away and enjoy life, but your vacation may be all the more enjoyable without the nagging fear that pest control and bed bug removal will be in your future.
If, even with the most careful of inspections, you discover bed bugs at home, the sooner you call a pest control specialist, the better. Bed bugs are one of those pests that you should not even consider trying to eradicate on your own. Ecola can come to your home and provide you with an assessment and a solution for bed bug removal. Call Ecola at (800) 332-BUGS (2847). They know how to kill bed bugs fast.
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