Posted by USBedBugs on 5/19/2011
Here are five simple tips to help you travel without fear of bringing bed bugs home:
- Do Your Research - Before you book a reservation in any hotel, check to see if the property has any reported bed bug complaints. USBedBug.com™ recommends checking TripAdvisor as well as Bed Bug Registry online for recent complaints. Greenberg recommends travelers also study up on the bed bug basics online at Bedbugger.com.
- Inspect the Room - Before you even bring your personal belongings into the room, inspect it for any signs of bed bugs. Using a flashlight, begin by inspecting the bed and its surroundings. Check the sheets, mattress, box spring and headboard. Don’t forget to also check walls and any furniture close to the bed. You’ll be looking for black spots (fecal matter), live bed bugs, their eggs, skins and blood spots. If you suspect that you may have found any remnants of bed bugs, contact the front desk and request to be moved to another room. “I always lift the headboard off the wall and shine a flashlight behind it looking for black spots in or around the cracks or screw holes,” said Greenberg.
- Zip Up Your Luggage and Belongings – Just because you don’t see any bed bugs doesn’t mean they are not there. Bed bugs stays very well hidden by nature so don’t let your guard down even if the room looks spotless. All items need to be protected in plastic bags at all times when not in use. Bring a BugZip® Luggage Encasement for every suitcase to keep bed bugs from crawling into your bags and coming home with you. Don’t leave shoes, computers or souvenirs out in the open as bed bugs love to crawl into tiny cracks and crevices.
- Never Bring Luggage Inside the Home - Even though you may have bagged your suitcases while in the hotel room, there is still a small chance bed bugs could have crawled in while on the airplane or taxi. Find a place in the garage or as far away from the bedroom as possible to keep your suitcases. Many people bring their suitcase right into their bedroom to unpack which just gives the bed bugs a free ride to their next meal…you.
- Wash & Dry Everything - Upon arriving home, empty your suitcases in your garage and any clothing should go right into the washing machine. Non-washable items should go right into the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. If you need to bring clothes inside in advance of washing, use dissolvable laundry bags to prevent contaminating your laundry room with bed bugs.
Here are some simple steps to prevent bed bugs in your home.
1. Inspect any used furniture- Any item that could possibly be infested should not be brought into the home without being thoroughly inspected. This includes second hand furniture, beds, bedding and furnishings which may be acquired for the home. If you find that the item is infested do not bring into the home and discard of it properly.
2. Seal Cracks and Crevices with caulk. This will prevent bed bugs and other pests from coming into your home. Bed bugs can enter homes by traveling along duct work, pipes and wiring.
- Arm your Home with Bed Bug Monitors and Traps- The ClimbUp® Insect Interceptor and the BB Alert® Passive Monitor are totally safe around children and pets and will detect bed bugs within days of them entering your home.
- Encase Your Mattress- Use Mattress and box spring encasements from Protect-A-Bed on beds in your home. If bed bugs ever get into your home they will want to harbor in the mattress and box spring. Encasements take away their favorite hiding place so they don't multiply undetected and prevent you from having to replace your bedding.
- Reduce Clutter and Vacuum Often- Keep clothes, boxes, toys, shoes off the floor or under the bed. They provide the perfect hiding place for bed bugs. Be sure to vacuum your bedroom often, particularly around the bed and the bed itself. Pull your bed a couple inches away from the wall. Regularly inspect bed frames, seams of mattresses and box springs.