A scientific picture of a bed bug with the Latin name and dimensions

Bed Bugs…Shouldn’t They Be Called Travel Bugs?

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Keep your suitcase away from the bed and bed bugs
Keep your suitcase away from the bed and bed bugs

‘A little bit of anxiety, sleeplessness and a bad case of itchiness’

The hazy, hot and humid days are upon us, like a suffocatingly heavy hot-water soaked blanket. Many people will seek to escape their humid environs by setting off to their favorite summer vacation hotspots such as the seashore, amusement and water parks. Many more will board planes and trains to get away more quickly to their versions of paradise. Hotels and motels will be booked solid throughout the summer months, and many people will happily return home not realizing that they have toted back blood-sucking travel companions in the form of bed bugs.

Bed bugs all but vanished during the 1940’s and 1950’s due to notable improvements in hygiene and wide use of pesticides-namely DDT. However, bed bugs have made a dramatic comeback, perhaps best marked by an alarming outbreak just after the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sidney, Australia. 

Experts seem to agree that the bed bugs revival may be the worst that has yet been seen. Due to an increase in global travel, urban population growth, and a rapidly increasing resistance to (Pyrethroids) class of pesticides currently used to kill bed bugs, it is widely believed that the bed bug problem will probably get a lot worse before it gets any better.

“When DDT was banned in 1972, most bed bugs were already resistant to it,” says Nancy Troyano, entomologist at Rentokil (Ehrlich).  This means that people need to look into new ways to get rid of bed bugs.

Example of bed bug bites.
Example of bed bug bites.

Bed bugs are flightless. The unwanted travel companions rely on the unwitting aid of people everywhere to tote them back and forth from hotels, hostels, college dorms, apartment buildings, movie theaters, airplanes, trains, buses, second-hand furniture and clothing items. Ignorance is bliss and now a lot itchier to boot.

 

Bed bugs awareness is paramount as an early course of prevention is crucial with keeping these unwanted skin-crawlers away from your home. When staying in hotels, do not place luggage on the bed or any upholstered items. Instead, place luggage on luggage racks, on dressers, desks and even in bathtubs.

Upon arrival in a hotel guest room, inspect the entire room for bed bug infestation. Check the mattress, behind the headboard, the box springs, and upholstered furniture. Pull back the top and bottom sheets slowly, with lots of light for optimal visibility. Check along the seams, the edges, and the linings as bed bugs tend to hid away in these hard to see cracks and crevices.

Bed Bug

They typically lay in wait for people to fall asleep so that they can enjoy their blood-meal undisturbed. Upon completion of engorging themselves on blood, they will crawl safely back to their hiding places. If bed bugs are discovered upon initial guest room inspection, immediately notify management and promptly leave that hotel, if possible.

Keep all luggage, briefcases, book bags, pocketbooks securely closed. Bed bugs will crawl into anything and enjoy the ride to their new homes- yours’- should you neglect to check and detect.

Learn what you can do to get rid of bed bugs in your home or business. 

Do you have bed bug stories? Share below in the comments! 

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Stephen E. Doyle

I am a Professional Writing major at Penn State University (Berks Campus). I will graduate in May 2014. I have finally decided to pursue my lifelong love of writing via a career change. I am a fulltime college student, fulltime father of two wonderful boys- 8 years and 5 months- and an avid reader of noir fiction, historical fiction and enjoy the occasional biography. I am also a freelance writer enjoying my summer internship with Rentokil (Ehrlich) in Reading, Pennsylvania as a marketing intern primarily writing for the blog sites for Rentokil and Ambius as well as content for the Rentokil (Ehrlich) website. I freelance for The Reading Eagle newspaper (Berks County, Pa) and I write for the Home Builders Association's award winning bi-monthly magazine, 'At Home In Berks'. A few of my hobbies are writing, watching and playing soccer with my 8 year-old son, watching my 8 year-old son play soccer, reading, watching old films (Kurosawa, Melville, Dasin, Wim Wenders, etc.), cooking and weekend jaunts to New York City.

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