Florida, Hawaii, Europe, And Bedbugs… No Thanks!

We are in the middle of Summer now and people are still getting on those planes heading all over. And like all vacations you have your worries, luggage loss, money loss, someone gets sick, you lose your phone, there was a mistake and your hotel is fully booked, anything can happen. But what about the bedbug worry??? This one is a real stinker, one that can come home with you, ruining your vacation and the days, or longer after. It is smart to be prepared, be as prepared as possible before, during and after a vacation.

Unfortunately these pests don’t differentiate between a 5-star hotel or a cheap low amenity motel. To them, a bed is a bed as long as a blood meal is sleeping in it. A 2011 NPMA and University of Kentucky survey found that 80 percent of pest professionals have treated bed bugs in hotels and motels.  Most travelers will stay in a hotel at one point or another during their vacation, putting themselves at a higher risk of picking up these hitchhiking bugs. Once inside a hotel, they spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, because they can crawl through the walls between rooms.
What To Look For:

  • Place your suitcase in the bathroom as that is the safest place for it. Bed bugs are least likely to hide in a bathroom.
  • Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains or spots or even the bugs themselves. Adult bed bugs resemble a flat apple seed.
  • Check behind the headboard, inside couch and chair cushions.
  • If you see anything notify management immediately!
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Even if you determine your room is clear of any bed bugs, consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.

When You Return Home:

  • Inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Your neighbors may give you strange looks, but better safe then sorry. Take the opportunity to educate them as to why you’re unpacking your suitcase on the front porch. You might save them from a bed bug infestation in the future.
  • Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which can kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash and dry on high heat all clothing your brought on vacation, even if you did not wear them, this will kill anything on them.
  • Keep clothes that must be dry-cleaned in a plastic bag and take them to the dry-cleaner as soon as possible.

So, Do You Have Bedbugs?

Maybe you didn’t check the hotel room as thoroughly as you thought or perhaps you were too tired to vacuum your suitcase.  Perhaps you did everything right but a few days after you came home, you wake up with red itchy welts on your body and notice the telltale pepper-like stains on your sheets. A few bed bugs snuck by you and have made themselves at home. Don’t panic! Although bed bugs are a difficult pest to treat, pest professionals like A1-Exterminators have many treatment options available to them and are successful in eliminating infestations.
The key is to begin treatment as soon as infestation is suspected or discovered. Bed bugs are not a DIY pest, treatments should be left to licensed and experienced pest professionals, like A1 Exterminators. If you suspect a bed bug infestation contact us at 1-800-525-4825 today!

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