Travel is an essential part of the holidays, and well, your luggage is the most common and preferred method of transportation for bed bugs. Anywhere there may be people, there may be bed bugs. So what can you do about keeping bed bugs out of your luggage while you're on your holiday travels? Let's learn about some basic steps you can take to identify bed bugs as well as cut down your chances of carrying them home with you.
Steps you Should Take Before Unpacking
1. Keep the luggage off the bed. When you first enter your hotel room or guest room, do not head to the bed firs with your luggage. If there are bed bugs present, that is a really quick way of increasing your chances of bringing them home with you. Your best bet is to head to the bathroom first. Place your luggage in the bath tub while you prepare to check the room. No bathroom? See if there is a metal luggage rack you can rest your bags on before unpacking. Staying at a relative's home, and you have neither a bathroom or a luggage rack? Wrap your luggage in plastic. It's easy to find plastic luggage covers online.
3. Begin a bed inspection. Go to the bed and pull back all of the covers all the way down to the mattress. It is really helpful to always pack a small flashlight in your luggage to use for your inspections. Take the flashlight and inspect the mattress--especially, around the seams. If you're using a flashlight, check for anything moving. The bugs don't like the light, and they will try to move away from it. If you see reddish brown spots on the mattress or clusters in the corners, you may have found signs of a bed bug presence.
4. Move beyond the mattress. It is key to not only check the bed, but the headboard, the tables, and any furniture in the room. If you're able to move the furniture, do so. You'll need to check behind it. Look under the phone, alarm clock, and lamps. Be sure to use your flashlight in these areas too.
5. Bag up any clothes that need to be laundered. Throughout your vacation and definitely before packing your suitcase, secure any clothes that have been worn into a sealed plastic bag. Bed bugs are drawn to your scent, and sealing up your clothes is a great way of preventing a ride home for these pests.
6. Report any findings immediately. If you're staying in a hotel, be sure to immediately report what you have found to the staff. It is safe to stay in the hotel. Bed bugs found in one room does not mean that they are in all rooms, nor is it a testament to the cleanliness of the hotel. If you do to stay, be sure that your new room is not adjacent to the room with the bed bugs. One good rule is to try and go two floors up or down (if possible).
The important thing to remember during your holiday travels, is to keep a cool head. As long as you know what you're looking for, you can prevent bringing home bed bugs. Remember, bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans. However, they are a hugs nuisance. Keep a cool head, and know how to stay proactive.
If you do find that you may have brought home some unwelcome visitors after your holiday travels, have no fear. Give us a call at Champion Pest Management. We will come to your home, complete an inspection and discuss the best options available for keeping your home bed bug free.
Champion Pest Management is a locally owned, family run, pest control company operating in Charleston, SC and the surrounding areas.