Bed Bugs On Vacation
Bed Bugs creep and crawl, and they just might be in your hotel room. And they could be coming home with you.
Bed bug infestations can occur at any time, but experts say it’s wise to be extra wary of the critters during peak travel times — like summer, for instance. Hiding in cracks and crevices, the bugs are good hitchhikers and could latch onto luggage and other belongings.
They’re not discriminating travelers and they don’t discriminate between a first-class resort or a low-rate motel. You could find them anywhere.
According to research, 74 percent of surveyed pest-control professionals said they’d encountered bedbugs in hotels and motels within the past year.
Although this number is second to apartments, condominiums and single-family homes — 90 percent of the professionals said they had found bedbugs in these places — it’s still pretty high.
It’s not just hotels, for sure. It’s hotels, vacation cottages, summer rentals at the beach, Airbeds, even a visit to grandma’s house. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to avoid letting the little bloodsuckers become an unfortunate vacation souvenir.
So here are 5 Tips for avoiding bringing Bed Bugs home from vacation.
Inspect Your Room
First and foremost inspect your hotel room. Before settling in, it’s worth doing a quick scan of the bed and any couches or armchairs. Look at the folds and seams of the mattress, little dark stains could be a sign of an infestation.
If it’s a pretty bad case, you might even be able to see the bugs’ castaway shells or pearly white eggs.
If there is an infestation you might be lucky and see a bed bug (I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing, I will let you decide). This is the first and probably the most important tip.
Inspect the Headboard
Look closely at wooden headboards. Although bedbugs are typically associated with clinging to fabric, they can use their claws to grip and climb bed frames as well.
Take a peek behind the headboard if possible, as the critters often hide in cracks, according to experts they are very good at hiding.
The problem is that headboards in many hotels are often quite heavy and can’t be moved. So there is so much we can inspect on the headboard.
Identifying A Bed Bug
Knowing what bedbugs look like is a good start to knowing what to look for. I have dealt with a lot of infestations in my time in the pest control business.
From infestation that was small to bug infestations. Sometimes we could catch the infestation at its early stages and be eradicated easily but, other times we would have to work extra hard and do several treatments.
In the end the outcome was the same and the problem was gone. It’s important to be able to identify the bugs, so you can notify the hotel immediately if you spot them. This isn’t necessarily fun, but if you find a bug in your bed, pick it up and put it in a plastic bag or one of those glasses they have in your hotel room. Keep it there so you can have proof that there were bedbugs in the room.
Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown and about a quarter-inch in length, while the younger ones are smaller and often have a “creamy coloration”. They’re crawling pests, If you see them jumping or flying, it’s definitely not a bedbug.
Keep Suitcase Off The Floor
It’s a good idea to keep your suitcase off the floor. Although either multiple bedbugs or a mated female would need to stow away to bring an infestation home, it’s worth taking precautions.
It’s all a probability matter, and you can bias that probability toward avoiding bringing them home by doing those inspections initially.
You can avoid picking up the pests by leaving suitcases in the bathtub instead of the main hotel room. This might be a bit much for some people but, tell me it’s too much after you bring some home with you.
Traveling is enough of a hassle but, taking extra precautions can go a long way to prevent unwanted visitors from our home.
Anything is possible in the world of bedbugs, but everyone has to make a decision about just how obsessive they want to be.
At the end of the day, it is up to us to be observant and take extra steps to avoid unwanted hitchhikers on our luggage and our person. We just have to make it a habit that we always do a good thorough inspection of our sleeping quarters at all times.
After all, we are on vacation and the only thing we want to bring home with us are souvenirs.