You might be familiar with the childhood rhyme “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.” While a strange thing to say before someone goes to sleep, it’s also a fair warning. Bed bugs are incredibly small and can easily make their home on your sheets or mattress. They can also hide in other places like cracks, crowded spaces, or even unconventional areas like electrical outlets. Because they can hide in different, usually overlooked spaces, they can easily get into your luggage when you’re on vacation.
Because they can lead to severe infestations, it’s best to learn how to minimize if not completely prevent them from coming home with you. When you get to your hotel room, you’ll want to look for any bed bug signs. They leave behind very obvious, physical evidence if they’re in a room, especially in the mattress or bedding area. They prefer beds as they like to be close to their food source.
When you get to your hotel room, check your bed for these signs:
• Dark spots or blood spots on mattresses or sheets. Dark spots indicate bed bug excrement; the blood would come from the pest’s excrement as well.
• Reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses as a bed bug could have been crushed during the previous guest’s stay.
• Tiny eggs or eggshells. Bed bug eggs are only about 2.5mm big.
• And of course, live bed bugs. Fully grown adult bed bugs measure out at about 4mm and are oval shaped.
One thing to note about bed bugs is that they have no direct correlation to the cleanliness of a place. They travel very easily from host to host and place to place, and so even places as clean as hospitals can have bed bugs. They are a very serious pest. However, they can be stopped.
There are very easy ways to prevent beg bugs from getting into your luggage. Before you leave, pack your items in a smooth- or hard-shelled suitcase as they have fewer grooves for bed bugs to hide in. When you’re at you’re hotel room, try to store your luggage or personal belongings on on a rack or on some other, elevated platform that will keep your belongings off the ground. When you’re packing up to return home, be sure to check your luggage as you pack.
Whether or not you find something, you’ll have to take care when getting rid of bed bugs when you’re home. Unpack your luggage in a smooth, easy to clean area such as your garage, bathroom, or utility to room to prevent the risk of bed bugs spreading. Wash all of your clothing on a high heat setting and dry them for at least 30 minutes. This includes clothing you haven’t worn yet.
Bed bugs, in small numbers, are very easy to kill, but if you suspect that an infestation has made its way into your home, getting a professional opinion is your best line of defense. Economic Exterminators will give you a free pest evaluation, so if you have concerns that you may have brought bed bugs home from your last family vacation (or any other pest for that matter) give us a call.