How to Avoid Bed Bugs while travelling
When we visit other places, we are literally targets for bed bugs to hitch a ride. Motels and hotels are particularly common places to pick them up but so too are old clothes, furniture and other common items. If you are taking a trip and plan to be staying somewhere that is suspect, consider the following tips and tricks to stay free of bed bugs:
- Ask plenty of questions in advance of your trip. Ask if they have a bed bug prevention plan and if they have had trouble with the critters in the past. This is a vital part of your trip planning and should never be ignored.
- It is not enough to simply ask and then blindly trust. Read up on the company and location to see if it has been an issue in the past. While online reviews are often misleading, you should see a clear pattern if it is a common problem.
- Commit to a careful inspection before “moving in” and don’t short change your efforts. Many people plan to do this, but skip it after a long night of driving on the road. Place your belongings inside the bathroom where bed bugs won’t likely be and then start checking the likely areas for bed bug stains. (or the bugs themselves)
- Check the bed carefully and particularly the seams of the mattress. This includes the bed, the frame, the headboard and the box springs, however.
- The bugs themselves are about the size of an apple seed and tend to hang out in small groups. If you find any bed bugs, immediately vacate the areas and don’t hesitate to inform the managers.
- If the bed passes inspection, understand that your search is not quite over. Dig deeper and look under the bed, on the nightstand, around the phone and in the wall openings. Anything that is nearby is a potential hiding spot. The furniture is also fair game. Check it all and check it well for staining or for the bugs.
- Invest in some suitcase plastic bags. These are like the zippered bags you use to keep them off of mattresses and it allows you to keep your clothing and other potential taxi services off limits from the bugs. Keeping things locked away in this manner is a great way to minimize your exposure. Some folks keep everything tightly in plastic bags from home if these commercial options are not for you. Just be sure you seal them off well each time.
- When you arrive home from any trip, treat your luggage and laundry as though bed bugs are traveling. Launder all your clothes in hot water and dry clean those that can’t be safely laundered in this manner. Clean out your luggage and vacuum them thoroughly before bringing them back into the house.
- If you utilized plastic baggies, seal them and leave them that way until you use them again. The bugs will die inside after a prolonged period as their life cycles are very short without food to sustain them.
Following these simple steps will quickly and easily eliminate the problem and generally prevent it from ever coming to be.