As the summer travel season gets underway, experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are reminding vacationers of the importance of bed bug prevention in light of Bed Bug Awareness Week, this June 6-12.
“Bed bugs are commonly thought to only hide in the bedroom, when in fact they can be found virtually anywhere humans congregate,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “With COVID-19 restrictions easing from coast to coast, people are undoubtedly eager to get their travel plans in motion. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and are capable of traveling long distances, so it’s important to do a thorough sweep for any signs of an infestation before switching to vacation mode to prevent bringing an infestation home with you.”
With bed bugs being one of the most difficult pests to control, the NPMA is sharing the below tips to help travelers prevent unwanted encounters:
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights and inside dressers, sofas and chairs.
- Pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams and box springs, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots.
- Avoid placing luggage on furniture or luggage racks where bed bugs can hide unseen.
- Carry a small flashlight to assist you with visual inspections.
- When returning home from a trip, vacuum and properly inspect suitcases before bringing into the home.
- Wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been worn – on hot cycles.
- If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional as this is not a DIY pest.
For more information about bed bugs, visit PestWorld.org.