With the country headed towards a peak travel period for the holiday season, bed bug prevention is on everyone’s mind – at least it should be! Just because you’re not staying at some run down motel doesn’t mean you’re safe from the pesky little critters (Even Simon Cowell’s ‘X-Factor’ contestants got bed bugs!! And we all know they aren’t staying in shady motels).
According to noted research entomologist and national bed bug expert, Jeffrey White of BedBug Central, the risk of exposure to bed bugs will rise during the peak holiday travel season! Think of all the people traveling this time of year!
“Bed bugs have proven to be a persistent and complicated pest to treat once they have infested a home,” said White. “Fortunately there are very simple and affordable precautions people can take that will greatly reduce their risk of exposure during travel.”
Don’t let one night at a hotel ruin the rest of your holiday vacation. Follow these 6 simple tips to stay bed bug free this travel season!
Before Departure: Steps to follow before leaving.
1. Encase mattresses and box-springs before leaving—This proactive step will prevent bed bugs from getting inside your mattresses and box springs and will aid in the early detection if you accidentally bring bed bugs into your home. Be sure the encasements are bed bug-proof. When you return home, you will want to periodically inspect these encasements.
Destination Arrival: Ensuring a bed bug free visit.
2. Keep your distance—Physical barriers are a great deterrent against bed bugs. When you arrive at a hotel keep your luggage closed and away from bed bug prone areas such as the bed, closets, nightstands and furniture. Most hotel rooms have luggage racks, so use them.
3. Conduct a basic visual inspection of the hotel bed—Well-established bed bug infestations may be detected by pulling back the bed linens and checking the visible edges of the mattress and box spring. You are looking for evidence of live bugs, dark brownish to black spots/stains or shed skins from bed bugs. This is a very simple but important step.
Returning Home: The final step in bed bug prevention.
4. Head straight for the laundry room—When you arrive home, it is advised that clothing be immediately hot laundered or heat-dried when possible. Sustained temperature of 120 degrees or higher will kill all life stages of bed bugs. For people that need to carry luggage through their home to get to the laundry room, dissolvable laundry bags is a safe transportation solution and can prevent bed bugs from dropping off throughout the house. More frequent travelers may consider portable heating units that heat treat entire luggage cases.
5. Leave it to a pro — Bed bugs are a complex pest and self-treating often leads to complicating and even spreading an infestation. This will add a hefty price tag to what may have been a small job. If you think you have bed bugs, contact a pest management firm that is trained in bed bug treatment.
6. Get educated —The best tip for traveling bed bug free is self-education. These basic tips are a great starting point, but they are not comprehensive. For more travel tips and bed bug information, click here. This website provides the public with bed bug biology facts, in depth methods for prevention, treatment options and more.