The winter season is a great and common time for many families to travel, especially when they’re looking to swap frigid temperatures for warm and sunny escapes. Bill Clark Pest Control and The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) remind those planning winter getaways to take the necessary precautions to help reduce encounters with bed bugs.
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers because they are so easily transported from one place to another in human belongings, such as suitcases, purses and laptop bags. This makes travelers especially susceptible to picking up bed bugs while away from home, regardless of whether staying in a hotel or at a relative’s house. It’s perfectly natural for people to want to travel during this time of year, but there is always a risk of coming into contact with bed bugs when doing so. As long as travelers keep their eyes open for the key signs of bed bug infestations, they should be able to avoid these itchy pests.
Some common signs of bed bugs include:
- Pepper-like stains on fabric-covered items
- Molted bed bug skins
- The bugs themselves in various life stages
- White eggs and empty egg casings
All travelers should thoroughly inspect the room for the presence of these bed bug indicators upon arriving at their intended destination. This includes pulling back the bed sheets to examine the mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and looking in furniture crevices. A small flashlight can help aide in this investigation. If a bed bug infestation is suspected, guests should immediately notify management or property owners, and request a new, non-adjacent room.
It’s also good practice for travelers to vacuum their luggage and wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been warn – on high heat when returning home.