If you’re headed out on a summer adventure this season, there are probably many things on your checklist to think about–but what about bed bugs? You might be thinking… how do I avoid bed bugs while traveling?
These nasty critters aren’t just pests in hotels. They can hitch a ride on your luggage and clothes from the hotel and straight into your home! Luckily, there are many ways that you can avoid them when you travel. Read on to learn all about avoiding these icky insects so you can enjoy your summer vacations worry-free!
Check Hotel Ratings Before You Book
Before you even make your hotel reservations for your summer vacation, check out online ratings for all the hotels you can choose from. Don’t just look at a four-star rating and call it a day–take a look at online reviews from folks who have stayed in the past to see if any have complained about bed bugs. Another great resource is www.bedbugregistry.com, or you can simply Google the hotel name and + bed bugs. However, these infestations are common, so if the hotel you are considering has had them in the past, just make sure to request a room that has never had a bed bug problem.
Examine Your Bedding Before You Head In
Once you have arrived at the hotel, it is important to check the accommodations for bed bugs before you settle in for the night. When you arrive, leave your luggage at the door and adhere to the following steps to check your room for bed bugs:
- Strip the bed and look for small black bugs, or small red stains on bedding
- Check the mattress crevices as well to ensure that it is clean
- Examine all soft surfaces including chairs, carpet, and decorative pillows to ensure there are no bugs present
- One trick to find bugs in hiding is to use a hairdryer to warm the mattress. Bed bugs are attracted to body heat, and the hairdryer will bring them out!
- Only once you are satisfied that no bugs are present should you bring your luggage inside the room
Keep Your Luggage and Personal Items Elevated
Bed bugs can hitch a ride on your luggage and ride along while you bring them home with you–but if you keep your luggage and other soft items elevated, you reduce the chances that they will hop on. Keep your luggage on a luggage rack or top of a hard surface like a desk or table instead of on a couch, the bed, or on the floor.
Use Hard-Shelled Luggage
Bed bugs need soft surfaces to hitch a ride–so why not invest in hard-shelled luggage to make it harder for them? Hard-shelled luggage can be made out of plastic, vinyl, leather, or many other materials, and are ideal for ensuring that you don’t bring these destructive pests home with you. Better yet, when you get to your hotel, keep all of your clothing inside your luggage instead of unpacking it into hotel furniture. Your luggage will protect your clothing from bed bugs for your entire trip!
Kill Off Bed Bugs When You Get Home
When you get home from a vacation, it can be tempting to plop your luggage down on the floor and ignore it for a few days while you get back to your routine. However, doing so can unleash any bed bugs that may have traveled with you into your home. Instead of waiting, wash all of your clothing and soft personal items in hot water immediately after you return. Then, dry all garments on high heat for at least half an hour. This process will kill any insects that managed to ride with you, and will help to protect your home from an infestation.
Get Professional Help if You Get an Infestation
If you follow these steps, you will likely avoid bringing bed bugs home with you. However, these insects are tenacious, and can make their way into your home even if you follow every precaution. If you are going on vacation this summer, it is always a good idea to have a trained professional on hand to quickly dispatch any outbreaks that may occur in your home. At Interstate Pest, we offer bed bug control services in Portland and Oregon that will help you get rid of bugs quickly and effectively, so you can rest easy again.