For those of you who will be traveling over the holiday weekend, be sure to take precaution from encountering bed bugs. Whether staying in a hotel room or traveling by planes and even trains, you risk the chance of picking up this hitchhiking pest and bringing them home.
According to recent surveys of professional pest control companies, bed bugs are the most challenging pest to treat and also one of the least understood by consumers. Education, awareness and vigilance will help to protect you during your travels.
- When checking into a hotel, ask them what their bed bug policy is. If they say they don’t have one, move on to the next hotel.
- Before you enter your room, leave your luggage in the hall to perform an inspection.
- Perform a room inspection – check for brownish or reddish spots, skin or actual bugs.
o Pull back hotel sheets and mattress pads (Beware: this may gross you out, I know I loathe seeing the mattress of a hotel room that others have slept on), check around the mattress seams and box springs.
o Inspect the headboard, picture frames, alarm clocks and other electronics- bed bugs love nice warm spots!
- If all looks good, now you can bring in your luggage.
o Avoid putting your luggage in the dresser drawers. Hang up your belongings or do what I do and keep your luggage in the bathroom. I know it may seem like a strange place to store luggage, but I have a feeling bed bugs don’t like bathrooms!
- Flying on a plane or riding on a train – use a lint roller and go over the seats before you sit down.
On Monday night when you return home from your vacation, be sure to wash and dry all of your clothing. If you don’t have time to wash everything, be sure to place clothing in the dryer for 20-30 minutes. In addition, inspect your suitcase or if you have a dryer rack, place luggage in the dryer as well.
I hope these tips help to provide some education and awareness but remember to be vigilant!
Happy travels and have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!