Are you concerned about encountering bed bugs on your travels? Last summer saw an increase in bed bug infestations, which can make you wary about traveling to other locations. By following the pointers listed below, you will be decreasing your chances of coming across any unwelcome guests in your hotel room and bringing them home.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small creatures that can grow up to 1/4 inch in size. They are usually of a reddish-brown color, oval in shape and flat, unless they have recently had a meal. They feed on blood and will cause an itchy, red welt when they bite.
When traveling, follow these tips to help you avoid these nasty bites during your trip.
- Check out a hotel before getting a reservation – If you check online hotel registries, you can learn if the hotel you are considering for your stay has had a recent infestation of bed bugs. If so, you need to choose another location.
- Thoroughly go over your hotel room – Upon arrival, you will want to check your room completely. What you will be looking for are brown or black flakes, similar to pepper, which would be fecal droppings from bed bugs. Also look for any black or red marks on the bedding. Use a flashlight and magnifying glass, if needed. You will also want to check for shed skin and tiny white eggs. The bed should be closely inspected, including the bedding itself, the mattress, bedsprings and metal bed frame. You will want to look around and behind the headboard, behind wall hangings, in seams and folds of upholstered furniture, and in the corners of nightstand and desk drawers.
- Use a bed bug spray – There are special sprays available that you may want to take with you on your trip. After you have performed a thorough inspection of your room, you can use a bed bug spray on the bed, furniture and moldings. By doing this, you will be taking extra precautions against these pests.
- Be careful where you put your suitcase – Place your suitcase on a table, desk or luggage rack. Do not place it on the bed, especially if you have not had the chance to inspect it yet. Remember that a hard-shell suitcase is the best to use on a trip, as bed bugs can find their way into the folds and seams of a fabric suitcase. You should keep all garment bags closed to ensure that bugs will not be able to get inside. Clothing can also be kept in plastic bags within your luggage, and these clothing items can be quickly transferred into the washer when you arrive home.
If you should still encounter an infestation when you return home, you will want to rid your home of these pests as quickly as possible. Vacuum the affected areas thoroughly, and if necessary arrange for a pest control company to treat your home with bed bug insecticide or a heat treatment. By following the helpful tips listed above, though, you will minimize the chances of bringing bed bugs home.