Bed bug infestations reach their peak in the summer vacation season and are arguably the most difficult pest to treat.
If you’re hitting the road for summer travel and want to learn about bed bugs and how to avoid them, read on!
Like to think of yourself as a well-seasoned traveller? The bed bug has you beat. They can hitch a ride on clothing, in luggage, they can even migrate through pipes and survive being sucked up in a vacuum cleaner. In fact, bed bugs can live for up to a year without a meal! And don’t let the name of this tenacious pest fool you, bed bugs can lurk in plenty of places besides beds, such as chair and sofa cushions, on buses, trains and movie theater seats, behind electrical outlets, and even in electronics! They are rarely if ever seen out in the open, so that hotel room may *look* spotless, but it may be hiding something.
Thankfully, bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans. But while some people report that they are unaware of being bitten, others have intense itching and red welts. Excessive scratching of the bites can lead to additional skin irritations or even an infection.
Photo of bed bug skins. Image: PestWorld.org
We hope we’ve convinced you that bed bugs are a serious pest! Now follow these tips to ensure the only things you’ll bring back from your vacation are memories:
- Check the sheets, then pull back the sheets and check the mattress, then pull back the mattress and check under it for signs of bed bugs. You’re looking for small flecks of blood, feces, shed bed bug skins or what looks like sprinklings of black pepper.
- Pack a small flashlight – it doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase and can help with visual inspections.
- Bring a large plastic trash bag and keep your suitcase in it during your hotel stay.
- Keep clothes in plastic bags in your suitcase after wearing and wash everything as soon as you return home.
- Vacuum your suitcase inside and out, focus on the little seams where the bed bugs might hide.
Photo of baby bed bug and fecal spots. Image: PestWorld.org
Want more info? Check out this video: