As a homeowner, you may already mow your lawn and have your floors professionally clean, but you should also focus on pest control. While shocking for many to learn, certain pests can attach themselves to your clothing and luggage while traveling. Considering one bed bug can lay up to five eggs in one day, making sure these small pests do not travel home with you is imperative. Using this guide on tips to use when traveling, you can prevent bed bugs from catching a ride home with you.
When you get to your room or vacation rental, avoid walking through the space with your luggage and accessories. As soon as you open the door, store your luggage, jacket, and accessories in the bathroom.
Most bathrooms contain tile, which is cold and unappealing to bed bugs and other pests. In most cases, bed bugs will not be found in the bathroom, so it is smart place for storing your items while you inspect the remaining part of your room.
After placing your belongings in the bathroom, walk over to the bed to begin the inspection process. Pull back the coverlet, blankets, and sheets. Check all areas of these linens, the mattress, and the headboard/footboard for signs of bed bugs.
Of course, bed bugs may also be present in other areas of the room. Be sure to inspect the nightstand drawers, alarm clock, phone, books, magazines, brochures, room service menus, chairs, carpeted areas, window treatments, decorative pillows, dresser drawers, closet, ironing board, and the luggage rack.
If you notice the following, bed bugs are present:
- Apple Seeds – Bed bugs look similar to apple seeds. They are small, flat, and have a reddish brown color. They may measure approximately 5 to 7 millimeters long.
- Shells – Bed bugs will shed their exoskeletons periodically, so check all areas for small and thin shells.
- Feces – The fecal matter of bed bugs will have a rust-like color.
- Blood Stains – Bed bugs bite, so spots or streaks of blood on the bed, linens, or furniture may be due to bites.
It is important to note that you should contact the hotel management after seeing one or more of the above signs. Management should offer you a new room or a full refund so you can stay at a different hotel.
During Your Stay
If you room appears free from bed bugs, you should still use precaution during your stay.
Store your luggage on top of the luggage rack, dresser, or desk. Avoid placing the luggage inside the closet, on the floor, or on a spare bed. Also, consider wrapping your suitcases and garment bags is plastic. Plastic bags with zippered closures are great options, but you can also use traditional trash bags to cover your luggage.
You may believe you are free from the possibility of bed bugs once you arrive home, but these sneaky pests may have hitched a ride home with you in a vehicle, airplane, or train. To ensure the bed bugs do not infest your home after your trip, complete the following steps:
- Luggage – Place your luggage in a garage or covered outdoor space when you get home. This will allow you to unpack clothing without the worry of bed bugs entering your house.
- Wash – Remove the clothes that you traveled in immediately after you get home. Place directly into your washing machine and run a cycle. Unpack your luggage slowly and wash on a normal cycle.
- Dry – During the unpacking process, remove any clean clothes that you did not wear on your trip and place in your dryer. Run the dryer on high heat for a few minutes to kill any possible bed bugs that may be lurking in your clothing.
- Vacuum – Before bringing the unpacked luggage into your home, vacuum the interior of each suitcase and bag. This will kill any bugs and remove eggs that may be present inside your luggage.
- Wrap – After cleaning out your luggage, wrap each piece in a plastic bag and store in a closet or attic.
Bed bugs can wreak havoc on your home and health, but you do not have to avoid traveling. With these simple solutions to use while traveling, you can protect yourself and your home from a possible bed bug infestation. For more information, contact a local pest control company or visit sites like http://www.craigandsons.com.