While it’s exciting to travel and explore another place, it can also be nerve-wracking to stay in a bed that’s not your own. One of the main worries are bed bugs. Of course, no one wants a bed bug infestation, resulting in bites and hassle that can ruin your vacation. So what can you do about these pests when you’re traveling? Fortunately, there are a few items you can pack in your travel bag that will help you discover and deal with a bed bug problem. This way, you can have a more relaxed vacation and prevent a bed bug infestation in your own home, since it’s possible to carry bed bugs on clothes, shoes, suitcases and bags.
Signs of Bed Bugs
It might put your mind at ease to know that bed bugs are easy to see. They are close to an apple seed’s size and colored orange-red, so they stand out to the naked eye. Nonetheless, they do hide, so you need to look for them and signs of their presence. If a hotel room or other lodging has bed bugs, you will see skins that have been shed and small dark spots that are fecal matter. If you are being bitten during the night, you will notice welts on your skin that itch, along with smears of blood on your sheets. In general, you will find the bed bugs near the bed and within the mattress and box spring.
What to Bring to Check For or Prevent a Bed Bug Problem
How can you prepare for bed bugs? While you can search reviews and try to find a hotel without them, it’s possible to stumble upon these bugs, especially if you’re traveling around the world. Bring these five handy items that will prepare you for bed bugs during your travels:
Flashlight: Use a flashlight to get better visibility of the bed and areas around the bed, including the mattress, drawers in the night stand, the headboard, cracks in the wall and the edges where the walls meet the carpeting. A magnifying glass can also help you see better.
Gallon Garbage Bags: Put your suitcases, loose clothing, shoes and bags into these plastic bags and seal them. This will help keep your items from becoming infested.
Rubber Gloves: Wear these gloves while you check for bed bugs and to clean.
Protective Pillow Coverings: It can help you rest better if you cover a hotel pillow with a covering that you bring from home. Choose a covering with a zipper that can prevent bed bugs from getting inside the pillow.
Protective Mattress Coverings: If you’re really concerned about bed bugs, use a zippered mattress covering to enclose the entire mattress and prevent an infestation.
These items and tactics can help you find and protect against bed bugs, or feel better about your stay even if you don’t see signs of an infestation. If you do happen to find some bed bugs, let the hotel management know and stay in another hotel if possible.
If you’re a hotel manager who has discovered bed bugs or you’re a traveler who ended up bringing bed bugs home with you from your vacation, consider heat treatment as an effective way to get rid of them without harsh chemicals.