They're creepy, crawly, night-time feasters. Yep, bed bugs. Even if you've never encountered these pesky, skin-nibbling insects, just the thought of them will likely make your skin crawl.
When traveling, you're particularly susceptible. Whether you're staying in high end hotels, dirt-cheap roadside motels or crammed in hostels, doesn't much matter - bed bugs dont give a hoot about star ratings.
In an interview with Tanya Enberg of Chic Savvy Travels (CST) Blog, Adam Greenberg, bed bug expert and president of USBedBugs.com, reveals everything you need to know about reducing nasty encounters with bedbugs on the road and, more importantly, prevent them from hopping a ride home with you in your suitcase.
CST: In recent years, bed bug warnings have skyrocketed why the sudden upsurge?
Adam: While bed bugs were gone from the U.S. for about 30 years, they still existed in pockets around the world. As the U.S. has really cut back on use of strong pesticides like DDT, the environment exists for many insects to return. Bed bugs were first spotted in small numbers here in the late '90s and have been growing in numbers ever since.
CST: Chic Savvy Travels fans are huge world explorers. When it comes to accommodation style of our global travel community, it can range from five-star-style one day, to gritty-backpacking hostel the next. Does the level of accommodation impact the bedbug risk, or are all of them equally at risk of infestation?
Adam: Bed bugs do not discriminate and can be found wherever people are sleeping, whether that is a five-star resort or a youth hostel. Hotels that have a higher turnover of guests are a higher risk of bed bugs because every guest is a potential source coming in to the facility.
Hotels that have average stays of a week or two have fewer people coming in and therefore less chance of bed bugs. Of course it only takes one person to bring bed bugs in so all travelers need to be vigilant wherever they stay. I have found that the fancier hotels have more at stake with regard to their reputation and better funding so they tend to be more proactive at bringing in exterminators and canines to sniff out bed bugs.
CST: For backpackers, rooms are often shared dorm-style. Any suggestions for decreasing the risk of bedbugs in these cramped situations?
Adam: Either bed bugs are already in the room or they aren't. Make sure everyone checks the edges of their mattress for signs of bed bugs before settling in. You're looking for black spotting that looks like mold around the edges of the mattress, perhaps on or around the mattress tag or even behind the headboard.
CST: What tips in general can you offer to travelers who want to reduce the risk of bedbug bites and - worse - preventing the critters from hopping in their luggage and coming back home with them?
Adam: To reduce the risk of bed bug bites, make sure you inspect the bed area as mentioned before settling in. If the bed bugs have been there for more than a few weeks already, you will be able to spot signs of bed bugs and ask for a different room.
Covering arms, legs, etc...with clothing will cut down on the bug bites for a short while. Bites are a minor inconvenience compared to the traumatic experience of bringing bed bugs home with you.
It is critical that travelers keep all their belongings off the floor, away from the bed, and out of the drawersall places where bed bugs are hiding. I strongly recommend using some sort of plastic bags to keep your suitcases and clothes secure. Excellent options include contractor grade, heavy-duty garbage bags, ZipLoc Big Bags and also BugZip Travel Protectors that zipper around your whole backpack or suitcase so you dont have to unpack.
Click Here to Read Full Article at Chic Savvy Travels