By: Matthew Campbell
Traveling for the holidays? Keep in mind the little guys that you don’t want tagging along.
Bed bugs are successful hitchhikers, and they can be easily transferred on trains, planes and buses. To ensure that your holidays remain happy, here are 5 tips to keep unwanted guests (of the bed bug sort, at least) out of your home.
1. Know What You’re Dealing With
- Your best weapon against bed bugs is knowledge. Know what they look like, their habits, and how to find them. Arm yourself with Modern Pest Services’ Bed Bug Fact Sheet before you take off.
2. When Traveling on Public Transportation
- If you can, hold bags on your lap instead of storing them in trunks or luggage compartments. Once you reach your destination, do not place your bags on furniture or beds. Go through the laundering procedure below to kill any bed bugs that could have hitched a ride on your personal items.
3. Be Cautious for Your Luggage
- If you are planning to stay at a hotel, keep your luggage on a folding stand or in the bathtub. Bed bugs have difficulty climbing up metal, and they typically harbor about 5 feet from beds, so bathrooms are not common areas for bed bugs to infest.
- Collapsible bags are ideal for travel because you can throw them in the dryer as soon as you return home. But if you use suitcases, thoroughly vacuum along the seams and into folds with a nozzle attachment. Bed bug proof suitcase liners can be purchased from Amazon.com or Wal-Mart.
4. Inspect Hotel Rooms and Guest Beds
- We recommend bringing a small flashlight with you on your holiday vacations – and all vacations – to inspect the beds you and your family will be sleeping in. Look for dark specks of feces, egg casings, bed bug skins, and live bed bugs along mattress seams, the bed frame, and the headboard.
- Visit The Bedbug Registry before you book your hotel. With this registry, you can see what lodgings have experienced bed bugs, then call to ask what measures they took to treat the issue and whether they have a recurring preventative bed bug service from a pest management company.
5. Launder Your Clothes Once You Return Home
- Throw clothes in the dryer and dry them on high heat for at least 30 minutes. High heat kills bed bugs at all stages of their lifecycle, but make sure you do not stuff the dryer. You want the heat to penetrate every inch of fabric. For added precaution, purchase bed bug proof laundry bags in which to store your dirty clothes.
As it gets cooler, we seek warmth from our friends and family. That’s why the holidays are so special. Let’s make sure bed bugs aren’t part of our festive gatherings.
Every season brings a new threat from pests. Be prepared. Modern Pest Services offers a HomeCare Green Program for year-round pest protection, as well as Wildlife, Termite, Mosquito, Tick, and Bed Bug Control Services. 1-800-323-7378.