Bed bugs are not the type of souvenir travelers would like to bring home from vacation. There is an increasing risk of bringing bed bugs home unintentionally from a vacation, as these insects have experienced a population explosion in the recent months. You will find below tips on how to prevent bringing bed bugs home from vacation.
Where are Bed Bugs Found
Bed bugs are non-flying insects that live in cracks and crevices and especially love mattresses and bedding. They feed on human or animal blood. Bed bugs can be transferred in luggage, clothing, purses, and anything that has a small dark crevice for them to hide. Fortunately, there are preventative measures that travelers can take to minimize the chances of bringing home these unwelcome pests.
Check out Bedbugregistry.com
Before embarking on a trip, travelers can consult bedbugregistry.com to view hotel guest reports of where bed bugs were spotted in hotels across the country. This is an extremely valuable tool because it will give hotel guests a heads up so they can take preventative measures before arriving. If the destined hotel happens to be listed, call and see what preventative measures the hotel is taking to combat these insects.
Pack with Ziploc Bags
When packing for a vacation to an area that has had problematic bed bug infestations, Ziploc bags are a traveler’s best friend. Absolutely everything should be packed into Ziploc bags and kept sealed tightly in the bags for the whole vacation. One of the worst mistakes a traveler can make is to unpack their suitcases and stow their clothing away in the dresser drawers of the hotel without first being protected by tightly sealed Ziploc bags. Several places sell extra large Ziploc bags that will accommodate clothing.
Bed Bugs in Luggage
Hard-sided luggage with latches versus zippers is the recommended style of luggage to use to help in the prevention of transporting bed bugs. Soft-sided luggage is easily accessed by bed bugs and is not advised to use if traveling in an infested area. Light coloured luggage is better then dark coloured luggage and makes it easier to spot a bed bug if one happens to attempt to crawl in. Upon arriving at the hotel, leave all luggage outside of the room preferably in the car, or with concierge services until a bed bug check has been conducted.
Bed Bugs on Bedding
Checking the bedding when arriving at a hotel may or may not reveal evidence of a bed bug infestation, as they are nocturnal and are very good at secreting themselves away from searching eyes in minuscule cracks and crevices. Using a LED flashlight can be very helpful in checking for these tiny bugs. Pay attention in particular to the seams along the edges of the mattresses and the box springs, and check for tell-tale signs of bug casings and dried blood specks.
Can Bed Bugs Climb Tape?
One way to get rid of bed bugs is to use double sided tape. Bring a roll of light coloured tape when traveling and tape the legs of the bed with the sticky side of the tape facing out. The tape serves a two-fold purpose. The bed bugs can crawl up the legs of the bed, and this will help prevent them from being a bed mate. The tape also can trap the bed bugs on the sticky side, so there will be definitive evidence of an infestation in the room, and can be shown to management. Keep all sheets and blankets up and off the floor to prevent bed bugs crawling up the linens and invading the bed.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs When Travelling
Keep your personal possessions from the floor, sleeping areas and sofas or chairs. Hang jackets or dress clothing and stow suitcases on a luggage rack, taking care to wrap the legs of the luggage rack in tape, sticky side out. Another useful way to prevent bringing bed bugs home from vacation is to launder the clothes used on vacation in hot water and dry on high heat before repacking immediately into the tightly sealed Ziploc bags. High heat or intense cooling will kill bed bugs.
How to avoid bringing bed bugs home from vacation? Most good hotels regularly conduct bug checks in their rooms and utilize local pest control services when needed. Unfortunately, bed bugs are difficult to eradicate in a hotel situation, due to the constant flow of guests from all over, who may unknowingly re-infest a location. By taking a few preventative measures, travelers can greatly reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs home from vacation.