Many people hit the road during the summer, traveling to far-flung destinations for vacations. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the mountains, another country or staying at home here in the U.S., be sure to stay bed bug aware.
Bed bugs are hitchhiking pests that can infest five-star hotels, budget motels, hostels, homes, and everything in between. While bed bugs don’t spread disease, they can inflict itchy welts when they bite.
Many people often ask: can you see bed bugs? You can! Adult bed bugs are approximately 1/4-inch long by 1/8-inch wide – they are often compared to the size of an apple seed. They are reddish brown in color, but may appear to be more red just after feeding. Young bed bugs, or nymphs, are visible but hard to see. They can be as small as 1/32-inch.
You don’t want to bring bed bugs home from vacation with you – or take them from a hotel to a friend or relative’s house – so we encourage you to take these steps to stay bed bug-free.
- Place your luggage on non-upholstered furniture away from the bed, such as a desk. If using a luggage rack, inspect it for bed bugs.
- Pull back the corners of bedding on the bed and check the mattress and box spring for bed bugs. Pay special attention to seams, where bed bugs like to hide. If you notice black marks on the mattress, that could be an indication of a problem.
- Inspect the night stand for signs of bed bugs.
- If you believe your hotel room has bed bugs, alert the front desk and ask for a different room – preferably one that is not a neighboring room or directly above or below the room with the bed bugs.
- Immediately inspect your suitcase for bed bugs when you return home. Don’t forget the seams and edges.
- Place all your clothing from the baggage in the clothes dryer for 15 minutes on high heat, even if you didn’t wear them.This can kill any bed bugs that may have snuck into your luggage.