It’s the holiday season and that means traveling. Whether it’s to your mother-in-law’s or a hotel there is one thing you will probably forget to check for when you’re settled in—BED BUGS.
Bed bugs enter a home or habitation via secondhand articles such as clothing and furniture. They are also found to migrate between homes more internally via wiring, plumbing and rain gutters. Since warehouses, trucks and train cars may be infested and can be common breeding spots, bed bugs can infest homes by stowing away on new furniture stored or even shipped from these locations! Bed bugs travel through hitchhiking. Their small, nimble size enables them to go unnoticed within these locations. You must be extra careful this holiday season when traveling as you avoid finding these pesky bugs.
They will likely travel via your clothing and baggage and once they arrive at a new destination, such as your temporary bedroom or mother-in-law’s sofa, they will attack somewhere secure and wait for a new warm-blooded meal also known as us, the human. In the early 1900s bed bugs were mainly insignificant and didn’t start making a name in the headlines until the 1990s. However, due to mass transit and an overwhelming population, bed bugs are back with a vengeance and have an easier way of hitchhiking with you this holiday season. Bed bugs will remain difficult to control due to their small, nimble size and resistance to common pest practices.
Please keep in mind the following during your travels this holiday season:
Public transportation is a chief migrating spot for bed bugs to hitch a ride to their next destination. Trains, planes and busses are sure to be packed this holiday season as people make their way all over the place to get home. Also keep in mind, there will be a higher volume traveling via mass transit this holiday season due to the economic conditions as driving the family van will be a last resort due to high gas prices throughout the country. Bed bugs will also look to infest theaters, hotels, dorm buildings, apartments and wherever else humans travel to—they like to be where humans are. Bed bugs will travel until they locate a safe landing spot where they can access warm human blood. This means you will not notice them on kitchen floors or counter tops, but rather crevices to remain hidden while waiting to pounce on your blood. Since there is little to be done you must appropriately check your travel gear this holiday season.
Check your travel items!
When you get to your final destination, even if it’s your mother-in-law’s, it’s a good idea to check your luggage and travel items for any of these nimble, hitchhiking pests. Adult bed bugs can and will be seen with the naked eye so it’s proper to check your clothing, luggage, gifts and any other items. Some notorious locations are even on the seams and zippers of human clothing, shoes and luggage.
None of us want to deal with the burden of being exposed to bed bugs this holiday season. Nonetheless, one way to avoid that burden is by preparing accordingly. As you prepare to leave town here are some helpful tips about bed bugs:
- Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects that crawl-NOT jump- approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long (5-9mm).
- Bed bugs are frequently found in hotels. They travel by hitching rides with unsuspecting guests by crawling into clothing and luggage. All hotels are susceptible to bed bugs – from motels to five star hotels.
When checking into a hotel room, there are few simple steps you can take to perform a bed bug inspection:
- Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard. You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
- Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
- Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
If you suspect you were in a room that had bed bugs, take the following steps when you return home:
- Isolate the items in your travel bags from other items in your home – the garage is a great place.
- Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate the bed bugs.
- After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
- Check all luggage before storing it away. Vacuum out luggage and clean the exterior surface.
By taking these precautions while traveling, you can protect yourself and your family from a bed bug infestation this holiday season! For more questions or concerns regarding bed bugs give Green Pest Solutions, your #1 local Pest Professional a call today – 877-636-9469!
Bed bug bites can lead to skin rashes, allergic reactions, and psychological symptoms, not to mention a sense of uneasiness as you close your eyes at night. Rest easy after you read this handy guide to the most common species of bed bugs and know how to identify and control them.
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