How to Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs While Traveling
Bed bugs have experienced a significant resurgence across the entire US. In fact, according to PestWorld, a recent survey found a 70% increase in the number of pest control companies reporting bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are bad news – they can easily get into your luggage and clothing while you’re traveling and then hitch a ride home with you. From there, it’s only a matter of time before your entire home is infested, and you’re spreading these pests to other places. Thankfully, there are ways to protect yourself from bed bugs while you’re traveling.
Start with the Suitcase
Perhaps the best place to start with bed bug prevention is with your suitcase. If you use a soft, fabric suitcase or bag, swap it out for one with a hard outer shell. Soft cloth offers better purchase and better places for bed bugs to hide. A hard shell helps prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride home with you.
Protect Your Belongings
Bed bugs get into your clothing, onto your shoes and into your bags while you’re traveling. You can help prevent them from doing that by taking a few simple steps. First, wrap your clothing in plastic bags when packing, and don’t take them out until you plan to wear them. This prevents bugs from getting into the clothing. Second, consider wrapping your shoes in plastic as well (the spare pairs you bring with you, but also the pair you wear – have a bag handy for when you’re not wearing them).
Don’t unpack your clothing if at all possible. While that might mean you have to deal with a few wrinkles, or break out the iron and ironing board, that’s a small price to pay for being bed bug free. Keep your clothing locked up tight, and don’t store them in the hotel’s dresser or closet.
Inspect Your Environs for Bed Bugs
When you arrive at your hotel (or wherever else you’ll be staying while on the road), take a minute or two to inspect it for signs of bed bugs. You can usually spot them pretty easily if you know the signs to watch for. Pull back the covers on the bed, and look at (and in) the pillows and pillow cases. Use a flashlight to inspect for bed bugs, droppings, nymphs and shed skins before you settle into the room.
When You Get Back Home
When you get home from your trip, don’t unpack your clothing – take it all outside and shake it off. Everything then needs to go straight into the washer. Wash your clothing in hot water. Vacuum your suitcases (inside and out) as well.
Bug Free Services understands how easy it can be for just a few bed bugs picked up while traveling to start a brand new infestation when you get home. If you suspect you’ve brought some of these pests back with you, contact us for an inspection and professional bed bug treatment to eliminate the threat.
Watch This Video on a South Florida Hotel With Bed Bugs. Notice how they us a Bed Bug K9 To Inspect the Rooms!