Bedbugs: Travel Tips to ward off bedbugs plus video

It seems like those blood sucking bedbugs are popping up everywhere. From hotel rooms to dressing rooms and now, news that bedbugs were discovered in a patient’s room at a Providence hospital. The issue of bedbugs is making many feel like they just want to stay home, but there are tips you can use to safeguard yourself when you are traveling.

The lighter you travel the less likely chance the bedbugs have places to stow away in your luggage. Experts say do not unpack your clothes. Keep everything in your suitcase. The bedbugs like to come out at night when you are sleeping so before you put your head on the pillow cover your luggage.  There are places that say they sell bedbug liners for suitcases, but sealed plastic bags also work
Be sure to bring a large plastic garbage bag and put your suitcase inside the bag then firmly tie it up.  While covering another story on dogs sniffing out bedbugs, an expert showed this Examiner that bedbugs have a difficult time crawling on the plastic. You may even want to put smaller items in clear zip lock type bags.
Another good tip, if you have to hang things up avoid a hotel closet where others may have left behind bedbugs, they can easily hide and come out at night. Remember, they like it dark and often hotel closets are in the open. Instead of hanging your clothes in the closet, hang them in the bathroom, but keep the light on. Close the door so you can get some Z’s but the light will help deter the bedbugs from invading your clothes.

An absolute must is to check the mattress and wall for any signs bedbugs are present. Bring a flashlight too, you may not be able to see the bugs but blood and eggs left behind are  tell tale signs that bedbugs are alive and kicking.
During the inspection, look under the four corners of the mattress, the four underside corners of the box spring, and the piping of sofas and large furniture, If possible search behind the headboard. Also keep in mind digested blood will be brownish in color and will dissolve when touched with a wet napkin or tissue.
If you are driving you should pack your luggage back up in the large garbage bag before you put it in your car. When the trip is over and you are back home do not bring your luggage in the house if you suspect it was near bedbugs. Hot water is best for anything that can be cleaned that way, preferably 115 degrees to kill bugs or eggs. You can also put clothes directly in the dryer on the hottest setting, but do not overload because you want the hot air to circulate.
The more proactive you are using these tips the less likely you are to bring back bedbugs while traveling. For more information on dogs that help sniff out bedbugs click here. For more information about bedbugs and how they target humans click on the National Geographics video link. The short video is extremely informative.

October 7th, 2010 2:39 pm ET
Laura Clarizio

Providence City Buzz Examiner
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