Unpacking Bed Bugs
Now that school is out and summer is officially here families are packing their bags to head out on vacation. Whether your vacation takes you to a local lake or one of the coasts, bed bugs are a key concern.
Bed bugs have become more worrisome for travelers, as they can be found in many different locations – including hotel rooms, rental homes, buses, trains, and even airplanes.
These biting pests are also easily (and unknowingly) transported back home, and they use belongings – such as suitcases, backpacks, and boxes – to hitchhike. Bed bugs have been known to survive in various seemingly inhospitable conditions, so it is essential for travelers to practice caution during and after trips.
A 2015 study by National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky found that 99 percent of pest control professionals treated for bed bugs in the year prior, with 75 percent reporting bed bugs in hotels and motels.
Here are several steps you can take to help prevent bed bugs from spoiling your trip:
- Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs, such as pepper-like stains, molted bed bug skins, and white, sticky eggs
- Never bring second-hand furniture items, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home or college dorm without thoroughly examining them for signs of a bed bug infestation
- At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity
- If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately, and be sure your new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room you just vacated
- Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there, and do not put them on the beds
- Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house
- Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting
If you think bed bugs are a problem in your home, call Chilton’s Environmental today! We also offer free inspections!