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Bed Bugs and Travel: Taking Precautionary Measures

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Living with bed bugs can be difficult. Discovering the pests have infested your home, having them eradicated and then dealing with any physical and mental health effects can be a stressful and time-consuming process. It is important to inspect your home and anything you have recently brought into your home for signs of bed bugs, like feces, blood or urine. It may also be important to deal with physical bite discomfort, anxiety, lack of sleep or feelings of discomfort that may have arisen. Needless to say, bed bugs can cause a lot of changes in your life, and many of them are very challenging. So what do you need the most after experiencing and dealing with bed bugs? Besides a good night’s rest? Perhaps you could use a little vacation.

Now don’t be alarmed. By this time it is essential to remember that bed bugs exist everywhere and can arise from anywhere. Bed bugs and travel unfortunately do mix. Hotels can have them and spread them; suitcases and public transportation are also places they can exist. They can occur on vacation, too. But you have been educated and aware of the signs of bed bugs and what you can do to avoid dealing with them. Stay relaxed, but take these cautionary steps on vacation with you. You have new knowledge and the ability to live a clean, pest-free life. Below are bed bug inspection tips to remember when you leave your home and go somewhere new.

Hopefully most hotels don’t have bed bugs, but hotel bed bugs can be found in busy accommodations, especially ones that host people from all over the world. Especially if you are traveling someplace exotic or far from home, stay alert to the signs of bed bugs.

A few signs of bed bugs:

  • tiny spots of feces and blood stains on or around beds
  • small, open crevices such as behind baseboards or panels
  • translucent brown bug skins
  • actual insects

Before leaving, take precautionary measures to ensure comfortable, bed bug-free travel. You can pack certain items that will help you with your bed bug inspection. Naturally, if you do find signs or actual insects, leave the hotel room or hotel immediately and inform a member of the staff. You don’t want them to spread.

A couple things you can do before you leave for vacation:

  • Consider bringing a large plastic trashbag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays. Plastic wrap is helpful, too.
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
  • Read online reviews. Check to see how recent all allegations of bed bugs might be.

After arriving to your hotel or accommodation:

Take off bedsheets and check the mattress. Peer around the mattress seams – this is the most common place for bed bugs to hide. If there is powder or signs of it near these places, it could be likely that the room has been treated for bugs recently. Bedside table drawers, mattress tags, and in or around headboards are places they like to crawl around, as well. Make sure you inspect those.

Inspect a hotel room as if it were home:

  • Stow luggage off the floor.
  • If suspicious, undress on a hard floor so you may wipe up anything falling from clothing so they don’t travel on your body.
  • Relax. If a hotel had bed bugs five years ago, chances are they have been eradicated. It is important to stay cautionary but to also let yourself enjoy this time. You want to be able to find a place to stay that ideally has never dealt with bed bugs, but that which is also a place you can enjoy with peace and a relaxed mind for the duration of your stay.

If you did feel that you may have come in contact with bed bugs during your travel, even after taking precautionary measures and completing a bed bug inspection, there are a couple post-cautionary steps you can take once you return home to rid of any that may have traveled with you or to help your peace of mind.

After arriving home:

  • Vacuum suitcases.
  • Wash and dry clothing on a hot setting when you return home.
  • Inspect any item in your suitcase in which a bed bug can hide, such as makeup bags, suit carriers, bottles, pouches, wallets, purses or shoes. Wash and dry them on low heat, if possible.
  • Inspect laundered clothing and if need be, seal them inside a plastic bag to keep any that may have survived from spreading to anything else.

Again, it is best to take pre -and-post-cautionary measures to deal with bed bugs when traveling but it is also important to stay relaxed. Inspect things, stay alert and wash and dry any possible items that may be holding any insects. Stay educated, and always alert a hotel if you find signs in a hotel room – or worse, actual bugs. And, of course, call your trusted bed bug exterminator pest control company to treat your home to prevent a massive infestation.

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