Do Not Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your End of Summer Travel Plans
August 25, 2017
The end of summer is a popular time for family vacations and extended travel plans as the warmer months are winding down and kids are heading back to school. Summer travel should bring about wonderful memories but if you happen to bring home a few extra travelers when you return from your trip, those memories can quickly turn into a nightmare. More reports are popping up about bed bug infestations resulting from vacation stays in hotels or rental houses. While bed bugs aren’t linked to serious illnesses, they are a nuisance and a pest that can only be resolved by a professional.
The Problem with Bed bugs
Despite their inability to transmit diseases, bed bugs can still cause health concerns. Their bite can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, which will become inflamed and itchy. Scratching a bite can lead to infection. For people with weakened immune systems, infections can result in some serious health problems.
Bed bugs typically bite while people are sleeping but they can feed anytime. Once full, bed bugs will seek out a blood meal every 5-10 days but have the ability to live up to a year without feeding at all. In addition to humans, bed bugs feed off of the blood of mice and rats. Controlling these pests is also an effective way to control bed bugs. Bites alone cannot prove an infestation because some people are not allergic to these pests.
What to Look for While Traveling
Once you check into your hotel or rental property, place your luggage in the bathtub until your inspection is complete. Check all of the places people may fall asleep, including the beds, couches, and chairs. Bed bugs tend to hide in the crevices of furniture so use a flashlight to check deep within the frames and cushions. There may be evidence of blood spots, eggs, or cast-off skins. These signs may indicate a previous infestation so continue checking the drapes and other areas of the room.
Our experts also recommend checking the bed with a flashlight one hour before sunrise, as that time of day is the preferred feeding time for the pests. Also, check the luggage rack for bed bugs before using it for your own suitcases. Any dirty clothing you have to pack back into your suitcase should be placed into a large plastic trash bag. Bed bugs can be attracted to the dirty clothing and may crawl into your suitcase in search of a new home.
Defeating Bed bugs at Home
Once you return home, wash all of your clothing and vacuum all suitcases. Empty the vacuum contents into a plastic bag and seal tightly before putting in an outdoor trash can. If you find evidence that you have brought home bed bugs, collect samples of bugs you see and contact our team of bed bug experts for a thorough inspection. Early detection and elimination of bed bugs can help prevent infestations in other rooms of your home and eliminate bed bugs in a timely manner.