Don't Let Bed Bugs Hitch A Ride
There was a time, not too long ago, when you could have gone on vacation and not given a second thought to bed bugs living in the world. Just under two decades ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find an infestation here in the United States. Now, bed bugs are everywhere. And the wide variety of places they have been found is quite startling. Let's take a look at a few of those places, and explore some ways you can avoid picking up bed bugs during your travels.
Hotels & Motels
The most obvious place to be on the lookout for bed bugs is any place you'll be spending the night. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Bed bugs can be any place you sleep. If you stay in a 5-star hotel or resort, do a search for bed bugs. These pests aren't attracted to dirty places. They are attracted to any location where they are able to get a blood meal. Keep in mind that they can also be at your destination. Your friend or family member may have a beautiful home, but that doesn't mean bed bugs aren't present. This is a pest that can remain hidden for quite some time.
- Before you bring your bags into your room, do a quick inspection. If it is inconvenient to leave your bags in your vehicle, leave them in the hallway or put them on the floor in the bathroom while you do your quick check.
- A quick inspection involves checking bedding, sheets, pillowcases, mattresses, and box springs for black patches, black streaks, black droppings, brown stains, shed insect parts, tiny white eggs, tiny six-legged insects, or a mixture of these.
- A detailed inspection includes searching the underside of all mattresses and box springs, scanning along baseboards, examining outlet covers, and inspecting all upholstered furniture in the room for the bed bug signs listed above. The more detailed you are, the greater chance you have of detecting these bugs.
Do you plan to take a bus, train, plane, or some other form of public transportation to get to where you're going? If so, it is important to be aware that bed bugs have been found infesting these locations. This is because bed bugs are able to draw a blood meal from us even when we're fully awake. Here are a few things you should know:
- Bed bugs prefer to feed at night when everyone is sleeping and CO2 levels have risen. It is usually only immature nymphs that venture out to feed on humans that are awake. These nymphs can be as small as the tip on a pen, and have a transparent skin that makes them difficult to see.
- A quick search for black residue, black streaks, insect casings, white eggs, bloodstains, and tiny six-legged bugs, will help to keep you safe.
When people travel, there is usually some sightseeing that goes along with the trip. If you plan to go out to some public venues during your travels, keep an eye out for the signs of bed bugs. These pests have been found in libraries, movie theaters, retail stores, and many other unexpected places.
- Keeping alert is the best tip we can give for this one. It is impractical to search every place you go. Keep an eye out for the signs, no matter where you are, especially if it is somewhere dark. The light on your smartphone is a great tool for taking a quick check around your seat. You can also use your nose. Bed bugs use a pheromone scent to communicate with each other. If you smell an aroma that seems "off" or reminds you of a moist towel that has been used to wipe sweat, be even more cautious.
Hopefully, the tips above will keep you from bringing these pests home with you, but if they find their way in by some other means, be sure to call a professional to have them eliminated. These bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of without an education in modern bed bug control protocols.
If you're in our South Florida service area, let us help. At Nozzle Nolen, we use proven methods established by industry experts to prevent, control, and eliminate these tormenting pests. Contact us for a quick quote or a free inspection.