Bed Bugs Travel Prevention

By Perry Benani

Bed Bugs Travel Prevention Tips

Find out how you can prevent bed bug infestation while you travel.

As you and your family members travel on holidays and vacations, it is important for everyone to be aware that bed bugs are a growing problem in many hotels and motels.

No longer is bed bugs infestation just a problem in cheap hotels with poor sanitation, nowadays even the most luxurious five-star hotels and resorts can be infested.

According to the National Pest Management Association, beg bug infestations have grown at an alarming rate and complaints about bed bugs are up 81 % since 2000.

While getting bitten by bed bugs when travelling can already be uncomfortable and unfortunate,
it will only get worse if those tiny bloodsuckers hitchhike back with you to your home.

And once your home is infested, getting rid of these pests will become a very time consuming and expensive affair costing thousand of dollars and weeks to completely exterminate them.

Therefore, it pays to be extra careful when you travel.

By performing a few simple checks, you can can limit your exposure to bed bugs during your travels and help ensure that you don’t bring any unwanted guests back home with you.

Here’s a simple checklist on how to best avoid and prevent bed bugs when you first check-in to your hotel room:

Inspect Your Bed

  • The vast majority of bed bugs found in hotels are usually found in the mattress or in furnitures near the bed. Therefore the first logical step is to conduct a very basic visual inspection of the mattress.
  • Start by removing the bed linens and look at the four corners of the mattress, follow by the seams and the underside of the mattress.
  • Look for any signs of live bugs, their dark droppings or shed skins that may indicate the presence of bed bugs.

Taking Care of Your Bags

  • Be careful where you put your luggage. Do not place your bags near the places where bed bugs are typically found – on the bed, on the sofa or any type of upholstered furniture.
  • If the room has an elevated luggage stand, use it.
  • Remember to keep your bags closed or zipped up at all times when not in use.
  • If you want to be extra safe, you may also want to place toiletries, books, electronics and even jewelry seal up in Ziploc bags.

If despite the inspections, you start developing unexplained welts on your skin that itch and you suspect that those are bed bug bites, notify the hotel or resort manager in charge about the problem immediately and request that they move you to another room.

Checklist for you to prevent bed bugs infestation when you arrive home:

Unpacking Your Bags

  • Upon returning home, unpack your bags in a brightly lit area, away from your bed, sofa and upholstered furniture.
  • Always unpack your baggage one piece at a time. As you remove the items from your bag, give it a visual inspection to check for any bed bugs.
  • Take out all of your washable clothing to be hot laundered (minimum 120°F) for at least 20 minutes. Clothes that can be only dry clean should be seal up till you can properly care for them later.

Important: While these checks are not absolute guarantees to help you prevent contact with bed bugs during your travel, however, they can greatly reduce the chances and probability that bed bugs are brought back to your home.

Tip: If you travel often, you may also want to consider getting a bed bug proof mattress encasement that will help protect your bed from being infested by bed bugs that do make it into your home (thus preventing an extremely inconvenient and costly bed bug extermination process.)

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