Summer Travel Plans? How to Avoid Bed Bugs

Summer is almost here! Even though this summer might not be a completely normal one, people will be traveling. Summer travel and bed bugs are an all-too-common concern.

If you have plans that will take you away from the warmth and safety of your bed and into an unknown (and potentially infested) bed, don’t fear. We have tips to ensure your trip is safe.

The last thing you want to do is bring home a suitcase full of begs to end a ruined trip.

At Environmental Pest Management, we have the experience you need to ensure your home and travels are pest-free. Contact us today for a free quote if you think you have pests that need evicting.

Suitcases in airport. Travel concept.

How to Check for Bed Bugs During Travel

Did you know there is a Bed Bug Registry? This handy website allows you to search for your hotel before traveling to see any bed bugs reported. You can search by hotel name, city, and state.

Of course, hotels are not the only place to get bed bugs. You can pick up these pesky creatures on airplanes, in taxis or Ubers, or anywhere else you come in contact with upholstered furniture or items.

To check for the presence of bed bugs, you are not looking for the actual bugs. Instead, you are looking for what they leave behind. You are looking for tiny black dots. It might seem like someone dropped a pen over and over again. 

Here are some tips on where and how to check for bed bugs while traveling.

  1. Consider a hard-shelled suitcase over a clothe or soft material suitcase if you don’t already have one. Bed bugs have a hard time getting past the hard shell. There are many crevices for them to find in a soft suitcase.
  2. When traveling by plane, train, or rented car, check the seat edges and creases. You are looking for the actual bug that resembles an apple seed, or what they leave behind.
  3. Before you unpack at your hotel, thoroughly check the room for signs of bed bugs. You likely won’t see the bugs as they are nocturnal, but you will see their poop if they are in the room.
  4. Never set your luggage on the bed or other upholstered furniture or directly on the carpeted floor. Use the provided luggage rack or place your bags in the bathroom or on a dresser. Hanging your clothes is a good option, as well.
  5. Check under the sheets for signs of the bugs. Remember, it might look like small ink stains along the seam. You might also see small blood spots on the mattress.
  6. If the beds have headboards, check around and behind it.
  7. Inspect any upholstered furniture in the room as well as window treatments. Bed bugs aren’t limited to beds.
  8. If you find any signs of bed bugs, immediately contact management. It might be best to change hotels as bed bugs easily travel between rooms in a hotel.
  9. When you get home, vacuum off your luggage. Empty your clothes into the washer and thoroughly check your bags for signs of bed bugs. You should see those tiny ink-like stains along the edges or corners.
  10. Finally, wash in hot water anything that can be washed. If you happened to pick up a bed bug or two, they will not survive a hot wash and dry. 

accommodation inspector testing the bed

What to Do if Bed Bugs Follow You Home

Unfortunately, you might not catch bed bugs before bringing them into your home. Even if you thoroughly check your hotel room, you can still pick them up in a variety of places. These bugs are destructive and have a strong will to live and spread.

If you realize you have picked up unwanted hitchhikers during your are travels, seal all of your things in plastic bags before you head home. The last thing you want is to track these pests into your home. It only takes one falling out of your suitcase for your entire house to become infested.

If that happens, call Environmental Pest Management, and we will take care of the problem for you.

When you do get home, unpack your bag outside, if possible. If you can’t do that, don’t go farther than the garage.

Lucky for us, bed bugs can’t survive high heat. Wash everything in your bag in hot water. You will want the water to be at least 100℉. Then, dry on high heat. This process should take care of any bed bugs that made it this far.

Next, you will want to tackle that luggage. The good news is you don’t have to throw it away. Grab a flashlight and magnifying glass if you have one and inspect the seams and crevices as best you can. 

If you see any, vacuum up the little pests with a vacuum and brush attachment. Go over the entire suitcase, focusing on any spots you see signs of bed bugs. 

If able, wash and scrub your bag with warm, soapy water. The final nail in the blood-sucking bedbug coffin would be a thorough steaming of your suitcase with a handheld steamer.

Traveler with suitcase in airport concept.Young girl  walking with carrying luggage and passenger for tour travel booking ticket flight at international vacation time in holiday rest and relaxation.

Call Environmental Pest Management

With these tips, you can ensure the only thing you’re bringing home from your travels are good memories. We can help make sure bed bugs, and other pests, stay out.

If you have recently traveled and think you have bed bugs, call Environmental Pest Management today. We will give you a free quote before completing any work.

Bed bugs are a common problem for many travelers. We will make sure you only have happy memories from your trip, not lasting dread and itchy spots.

We also handle more than bed bugs. We have experience exterminating mice and rodents, wasps, ants, roaches, bees, beetles, and more. We also install TAP Insulation to provide extra protection for your home from unwanted guests.

Call us today and let us know how we can help you. 

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