Bed bug infestations can be difficult to deal with, so try to prevent the critters from entering your home. Common places the bugs can hide are dark crevices, wooden joints, headboards, sheets, pillows, and other spaces. If you’re on vacation, use these three steps to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you:
1. Inspect the Room
After arriving at your hotel room or vacation rental, do a thorough inspection for bed bugs. Don’t let kids jump on the beds or couches before you’ve inspected the room. Use a bright flashlight to check the room and illuminate any bugs. Check under the lamps, inside drawers and dressers, behind headboards, and between sofa cushions. Pull back the bed sheets and inspect the corners and mattress seams.
When inspecting your hotel room, look for live bugs, excrement, and shells. Live bugs are a reddish-brown color, and excrement is dark and tiny. You may also find small red stains from crushed bugs. Look for small, light yellow eggs, shells, and shedded skins. If you find anything suspicious, report it to management immediately. Keep any evidence in a plastic bag or take pictures. You can request to change rooms, but avoid moving into any adjacent rooms.
2. Protect Your Luggage
Finding no visible signs of bed bugs doesn’t always mean the room is completely clean and safe. Bugs can hide in the tiniest crevices of furniture where they can’t be spotted. You can take proactive measures by keeping your luggage in plastic bags for the duration of your stay. Avoid placing your suitcases on the floor or bed. Instead, store them on the dresser, luggage rack, or other hard surfaces where bugs are less likely to hide. Avoid unpacking your clothing and spreading items around the room during your stay. Keep your dirty clothes and shoes enclosed in a plastic bag. Inspect your clothing and luggage with a flashlight and lint roller before re-packing at the end of your vacation.
3. Unpack Outside Your House
Bed bugs can be transferred from other luggage at the airport, so remember to inspect your suitcases before entering your house. Unpack your luggage outside or in the garage. Only bring your bags inside the house after you’ve thoroughly checked them. Place all clean and dirty clothing directly into the washer, and dry them on a higher heat setting. The bugs can’t survive in hot temperatures, so tumble your clothes for about half an hour to be safe. You can also purchase a luggage heater to kill any hidden bed bugs and disinfect your suitcases.
Get Rid of Bed Bugs Today
If you suspect you’ve brought bed bugs into your home, start by vacuuming everything, including couches, bedding, pillows, upholstery, clothing, luggage, purses, backpacks, and stuffed toys. Seek help from a professional pest control company in your area to check for and properly exterminate the bugs. Call your local pest control team immediately if you find eggs, excrement, skins, or other signs of a bed bug infestation in your home.