Bed Bugs Are Good Hitchhikers
Bed Bugs can easily be transported from place to place as people travel. They can hide in luggage, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, luggage, boxes, and other places. You can come in contact with bed bugs just about anywhere — in a hotel, buses and trains, and even in movie theaters. No business or residence is immune to a bed bug infestation, and they all need annual Bed Bug pest control inspections. Here are steps you can take to avoid bringing home an unwanted “souvenir”.
Where You Find Bed Bugs
A common misconception is that bed bugs are only found in cheap, dirty hotels or hostels. This is not true! In fact, bed bugs actually prefer cleaner environments, and they do not discriminate between budget accommodations and luxury properties.
Beg bugs are like little vampires – they feed off of human blood. They usually do this at night while we’re sleeping, which is why they’re most commonly found in and near mattresses. But they can also be on the walls, in the headboard, in the carpet, or in other furniture like a couch or that dresser in your hotel room.
How To Spot Bed Bugs
A few minutes spent checking your room can prevent a lot of pain and annoyance. Unfortunately bed bugs are small – usually 4 to 5mm at most – so they’re easy to miss. They are about the size and shape of an apple seed. But you don’t have to see the actual bug to have a good idea that there’s an infestation.
Tow things to be on the lookout for to determine if your room has a bed bug problem:
Stains: Bed bugs leave behind tiny black or brown stains as small as the period at the end of this sentence. And if the bug gets squashed, you could see slightly bigger, rust-colored stains. Look for these stains on the sheets and on the mattress itself.
Shells: Bed bugs usually lay their eggs in the mattress, so you could find tiny eggs and eggshells, about 1mm small. They also shed pale yellow skins as they grow larger, which will stick around on the mattress as well.
How To Inspect Your Room For Bed Bugs
The important thing to remember is the sizes you’re dealing with. Bed bugs and the incriminating evidence they leave behind are all really small, so you have to look closely. Here’s what to do as soon as you get into your hotel room:
- Put your suitcase or backpack in the bathroom. If you can prop it on the tub or counter instead of on the floor, even better. Do the best you can to keep your luggage off the bed and off the floor, especially carpets.
- Look very closely at the sheets for tiny stains, eggs, and shedded skins. You should pull back the blankets and look at the entire length of the sheets as well as the blankets themselves.
- Take the sheets off the bed and inspect the mattress. Use a credit card or something similar to check out the crevices and seams where the tiny bugs are likely to hide.
- If possible, flip the mattress to check the other side, and inspect the box spring, bed frame, and headboard.
- If there is other furniture in your room, like a couch, night table, etc., it’s worth taking a close look and repeating these steps to make sure there aren’t any bugs or signs of bed bugs.
Packing To Prevent Bed Bugs
Before you even leave home, there are certain things you can do to reduce your chances of having bed bugs hitch a ride.
When choosing hotels, check BedBugRegistry.com. Hopefully any hotel on the list has dealt with the problem, but if there are multiple complaints or something recent, it’s best to stay somewhere else.
When choosing luggage, consider hard-sided suitcases instead of soft-sided suitcases. Bed bugs can get into the tiniest of places, and the fabric of a soft suitcase provides plenty of hiding places. If you must have a soft suitcase, choose lighter colors rather than dark ones because it will be easier to find bugs.
At the end of your trip, wash all of your clothing before coming home. If this isn’t an option, put all your clothes in plastic bags, and don’t open the bags until you’re home in front of your washing machine. You don’t want to give those bugs any window of opportunity to take over your house.
Think You Have An Infestation? Get Help Today!
The best step is a thorough inspection and accurate identification by a qualified pest professional. If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, nothing compares to professional pest control treatments. Contact the pest experts at Beebe’s Pest & Termite Control, we can help you eliminate bed bug infestations and prevent them from returning. Give us a call today to learn more about our services!