Traveling usually requires sleeping somewhere other than home, and if you ever need to do so, beware. There is a rise in reports of bed bugs all around the country, and hotels and motels are some of their favorite places to call home.
Bed bugs can cause severe itching and welt-like bites. It’s also costly to get rid of them if they happen to hitch a ride back home with you. In order to stay bed bug-free, here are a couple of tips to take into consideration when having to sleep in your next hotel room.
Inspect Beds & Furniture
You should pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners. Check to see if there are any telltale stains of tiny blood spots or small black dots that look like mold or ground pepper. Bed bugs are about the size and shape of an apple seed.
Next, you should thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Broaden your search to behind the headboard, sofas and soft chairs to behind picture frames, under the telephone and alarm clocks. Just keep in mind that bed bugs are usually found in an area about 15 feet from a bed. Until you have completed your search, you should store your luggage in the bathroom. Bed bugs are less likely to be found in the bathroom because they don’t like tile and there are fewer dark hiding spots. One last thing you should keep an eye out for is traces of white powder, which could be an indication of a pesticide used to treat for a previous problem.
Change Rooms or Hotels If Necessary
If any signs of bed bugs are found, you should notify management immediately.
When switching rooms, you should make sure you don’t switch to a room that is anywhere near the infested room. Remember bed bugs can easily hitchhike on housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. Ask for a room at least two floors from the original to be on the safe side.
After you’ve returned home, it’s always safe to act as if you did bring some unwanted critters back with you. You should inspect all your luggage before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider a garment hand steamer to steam the rest of your luggage, which in turn can kill any bed bugs or eggs due to the hot temperatures of the steam. Wash all of your clothes, even the ones that have not been worn, in hot water to kill any bed bugs that may have made it.
Remember, bed bugs can live for several months or even up to a year without feeding, so try keeping your suitcases in a storage bag until the next time you and your family take a trip.
Traveling is fun – especially when you’re with loved ones. To help protect them, make sure to teach kids the proper protocol for checking for bed bugs. And if you have an issue with bed bugs, call a local professional pest control company.