When it’s time to travel, whether for work or vacation, it’s unavoidable to stay where other people have been unless you’ve got your own vacation home or RV. This can result in increased exposure to bed bugs. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to limit the risk.
Bed bugs seek out materials they can hide in such as bedding, clothing, and fabric that isn’t regularly cleaned or can’t be thrown in a washing machine or dryer. Items such as mattresses, mattress protectors, pillows, and furniture cushions are especially vulnerable to infestations. These pests feed on humans to survive, leaving itchy red bumps. They prefer to nest near a food source but can go without food for long periods.
1) Check around the mattress seams and the headboard. To avoid exposure to these pests you can do a check-over once you arrive at your destination. Peek at the seams of the beds. Bed bugs leave signs that they are there. If you see brown or dark red spots along the edge of the mattress, it could be a sign that there’s an infestation. When bed bugs eat and defecate they secrete an off-color trail of evidence that appears where they frequent. They can also be found hiding around baseboards or any wallpaper that appears torn.
2) Store belongings off of the floor and keep items in your suitcase or luggage. If you unpack your belongings once you arrive at your destination, you could be increasing your chances of a bed bug infestation. Shared storage spaces at rental rooms and hotels should be avoided. If you keep your items in your suitcase and store items on a dresser rather than in a dresser it will go a long way for prevention.
3) Take precautions once you arrive back home. When you return home you could unknowingly bring unwanted travelers back with you. Bed bugs can hide very well, so you may not know you were exposed until it’s too late if you’ve stayed where there was an infestation. Some precautions can help to avoid an infestation in your home. When you bring your luggage in, unpack right away and wash the items that are machine washable and dry on high heat. Store other items that have traveled with you in the garage, or utility room, or leave them in a weatherproof outdoor area if possible. Wrap luggage in plastic to “quarantine” it and vacuum it to remove any bed bugs.
4) Stay in clean, well-maintained places while traveling. While it’s true that even the cleanest rooms can be infested with bed bugs, a clean room with lots of visitors will be less likely to harbor infestations than a run-down place. Cleanliness of linens and regular cleanings between visitors reduces the chance of spreading these pests greatly. Pay attention to reviews and if any concerns arise during your stay bring them to the attention of the staff.
If you suspect that you have a bed bug infestation, Pest Solutions is here to help. Bed bugs can be difficult to treat with DIY methods. and require professional treatment. Contact us online or give us a call at (804) 208-0827 so we can inspect your home and get started with a plan.