With travel restrictions eased, families across New England are planning vacations and trips to hotels and Airbnb’s in the region and beyond. There are few things less relaxing than the worry of bringing home bed bugs. If bed bug prevention is a concern for you, know you are not alone! A portion of the calls we get for bed bugs come from the hard-to-kill pests hitchhiking their way into homeowner’s homes without their knowledge.
Bed bug prevention in your vacation space
First step: place your luggage in the bathroom when you arrive before you do anything. Bed bugs don’t typically hang out in bathrooms for many reasons, one of which is there are few hiding spaces, and another is it’s a long way (for a bug) to get a meal! Make sure you do your inspection before placing your luggage on a bed or other furniture.
Second step: Pull back the sheets on the bed and other furniture covers. We’re looking at seams and places where cushions connect where bed bugs can hide. Unfortunately, we’re looking for poop! Bed bug excrement looks like small, black flecks. And an adult bed bug is typically reddish-brown and about the size of an apple seed. Non-adult bed bugs can be less red and much smaller.
Third step: If you’re done step two and see some signs of bed bugs or suspect they may be present, we look elsewhere. Behind bedposts and headboards, under cushions, and, oddly, behind paintings are the secondary places we check when we think we’re looking at a bed bug infestation. Finally, if you are reasonably convinced that an infestation exists, talk to management and get another room or hotel!
Bed bug prevention when you get home
Always inspect your luggage outside. Even if you’ve been diligent, doing a thorough inspection before actually heading in is a smart move. This seems silly, but vacuuming your luggage is practical and a good habit, regardless of bed bug concerns. This can prevent other pests who would hitchhike in as well. Clothes that you’ve brought back, even if you never wore them, should get washed in the warmest water temperature the clothing manufacture recommends.
We take bed bugs seriously because they’ve become increasingly common. 97% of pest professionals have treated a residence for bed bugs in the last year. Yes, nearly all of them have been treated for them. Not only are they common but they’re mostly being found after an infestation is well established. Please keep in mind that although waking up to bites and welts on your body is always a concern, NOT all bites are from bed bugs!
Enjoy your trip and be diligent as you travel from room to room. If you return and suspect a bed bug issue, our team at Graduate Pest Solutions specializes in bed bug elimination. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and service necessary to help keep your home and workplace pest-free!