It’s the time of year when families of all sizes will begin packing up their belongings and heading out of their hometowns. They hope to find rest and relaxation at a vacation destination far from the hustle and bustle of their normal routines. If travelers are not careful though, they may be in for a nightmare of a vacation if they run into the much-loathed creature: the bed bug. Over the last fifty years, the fear of running into bed bugs on vacation for the average traveler has moved from a serious precaution to a distant worry. However, the moment you let your guard down is when you become most vulnerable to these sneaky pests.
Before you book your travel accommodations, it is important to do your research. Check customer reviews or resources such as the Bed Bug Registry to ensure that the hotel, motel, or hostel where you will be staying does not have a history of bed bugs. If they have, this may or may not be a reflection on the business and neglect in handling pest related issues.
Read on to discover 5 helpful tips that will help you outsmart these clever creatures and make sure your summer vacation is filled with only positive memories.
Tip 1: Pack wisely
The more barriers the better. Bed bugs may be able to get into your luggage, but you can ensure that they won’t invade your belongings. Place your clothing and toiletry items in sealed plastic bags or containers, making sure they are as airtight as possible. Additionally, be sure to keep luggage off the floor in the room where you are staying. This lessens the chances that bed bugs will crawl into it. Bed bugs often travel on clothing and then can be transported to wherever the clothes (and the people inside them) end up.
Tip 2: Spray your luggage with protective a bed bug spray
This can be done before you even leave your home, during the packing process. If bed bugs happen to be in the place to which you are traveling, they will go straight for your luggage. They love any kind of soft material and will find a way inside your suitcase whether it’s open or not. Hardshell luggage without a zipper gives you the best chance of keeping bed bugs out. However, if you cannot get a hold of this type of luggage, a protective bed bug spray for your luggage will greatly reduce the chances of the tiny insects making their way back home with you. Most of these sprays contain the active ingredient permethrin which not only acts as a repellent for the bed bugs but also as a residual killer.
Tip 3: Inspect your accommodations
Recently there has been a rise in the popularity of renting apartments and homes through companies like Airbnb. Travelers often have larger accommodations that include access to more living spaces. If renting an entire home, guests now may have free reign to kitchen, dining, living room, and basement areas. Bed bugs can travel from room to room, so this extra space means more areas to inspect. You may even want to keep your luggage outside of the property until you have inspected your rental property interior. Check couches, upholstered chairs, and rugs in common areas first. You can then move on to bedrooms where you should carefully check the mattress, box frame, sheets, and bed frame as well as any other pieces of furniture in the room that have small cracks and crevices. Some indicators to look for include: small dark dots and blood spots on fabric material, light brown colored skin castings, and finally actual live bed bugs.
Tip 4: Make sure the place you are staying is well kept
It’s easy to neglect tidying up when on vacation. You know that you won’t be there long and packing/cleaning can wait until the final days before you head home. However, it is wise for you to make keeping your space clean a top priority each day of your trip. By doing this you will leave no opportunity for bed bugs to get into any of your personal items. This step will also give you peace of mind during your vacation.
Tip 5: Check luggage and contents thoroughly before heading home
Make sure to inspect your belongings one last time before you depart. This is your final chance to prevent those dreadful pests from joining you on your journey back home.
Bed bug precautions after travel
When you arrive back home it is important to remember to immediately wash your clothes in hot water. You might also want to vacuum the inside of your luggage as well as thoroughly wipe it down. As mentioned earlier, bed bugs can travel with you back home on clothes, luggage, or other belongings. You’ll need to be vigilant in making sure that if these pests did survive travel, they don’t end up in your home.
By practicing these tips, you’ll be able to travel without fear or anxiety. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on making memories this summer with the ones you love. But in the case that bed bugs do make it into your home, give us a call at 888.984.0186. Our bed bug experts will get you back to living bed bug free in no time.