Bed bugs are some of the most resilient pests to come in contact with people. They are small, tough, and able to go dormant almost indefinitely. This makes many chemical treatments ineffective because the bugs will just hibernate until the chemical expires. Even their eggs can remain dormant until it is safe for them to hatch. For this reason, a bed bug infestation requires diligence and repeated treatments to keep them from reappearing. One of the reasons bed bugs have become such a problem in the United States, again, is the amount of travel. International travel gives bed bugs the perfect opportunity to spread. To avoid bringing bed bugs into your own home, here are some tips for avoiding bed bugs when traveling.
Bed bugs like tight places. The seams of your luggage are the perfect hide-out. They only come out at night, retreating at the first hint of dawn to sleep for the day. They will tuck themselves into your luggage, hitching a ride to the next hotel on your journey or to your house. The awful part is that they can go dormant in your suitcase, so the next time you pack for a trip, the bed bugs are ready to feed and multiply.
So the number one tip for avoiding bed bugs when you travel is to keep your suitcase and clothes off of the bed. If there is a luggage rack, use that for your suitcase. Or place it on a desk or table, or on the bathroom counter. Any hard surface is preferable to the bed or carpet.
If you unpack your luggage into the dressers in a hotel room, pull the drawer out and check the joints and seams for signs of bed bug “dirt.” It is not as likely that the pests will live there, since it is usually too far from their food source – you. Hang your clothes up rather than laying them on the bed.
Another great aid to avoiding bed bugs is to use hard-sided luggage. It is not as attractive to the pests as soft-sided, zippered bags.
Pack your clothes in Ziploc bags. An air-tight bag will keep bugs out. You can also pack bed bug spray. Spray down your suitcase, inside and out, with the spray, and use it on your clothes when you pack to leave.
Even the finest hotels can have bed bug infestations. Don’t take anything for granted. Pull the fitted sheet off of at least one corner of the mattress and check the seams. If there appears to be dirt on the seam, then there are probably bed bugs.
Besides the mattress, inspect the headboard, dresser, carpet, and baseboards. Look for signs of bed bugs in those places, because they are close enough to the bed to provide cover.
What to Look For
Bed linens in an infested hotel may have lines of blood spots on them. There may be tiny black specks along the seams of the mattress. This is their feces. As they shed skin, they leave behind light-brown shells.
Keep your house pest-free this year with help from All Solutions Pest Control.