With the summer in full swing, Americans take to the roads, the seas and the skies for backpacking, ocean cruises and family vacations. To mark the summer travel season, Braman addresses a genuinely nerve-wracking prospect—meeting bed bugs on your next trip. Like a visit from a vampire, bed bugs most often emerge at night to feed on human blood. So it’s no wonder they can be the stuff of nightmares. Here’s how to avoid them.
Bed Bugs Thrive in Many Destinations
Populations of these hardy pests have resurged in recent years and they can seek you out in situations that most of us are likely to encounter:
- High-turnover locations like hostels, resorts, hotels, cruise ships, planes and trains
- Both luxury and budget accommodations
- Any temperate region on the planet—in other words, every continent but Antarctica!
- Portable items like luggage, briefcases and housekeeping carts
Don’t Pack Your Luggage with Vampire Bugs
Bed bugs can hide in spaces as narrow as a credit card, making them formidable foes to eradicate. Ensure that you carry nothing home from your vacation but great memories by following a few simple steps:
- Before you settle into your room, do some preventative inspection. Pack a flashlight and look behind the headboard, peer inside the nightstand, pull back the sheets and check the mattress and box spring piping.
- Look for six-legged, reddish-brown bugs, the size and shape of an apple seed (juveniles can be smaller). Bed bugs leave behind pepper-like black spots and rust-colored stains.
- Immediately notify management of any signs of bed bugs and ask for a room far from the original room.
- Choose hard-sided over soft-sided suitcases.
- Avoid putting your luggage on the bed. Use a luggage racks instead, after you’ve inspected the rack.
- Keep luggage in a plastic trash bag or preventative cover during the trip’s duration.
Safeguard Your Home from Bed Bugs
Despite these precautions, pesky bed bugs can still hitch a ride with you. Upon your return, follow these steps to protect your home from their invasion:
- Inspect and vacuum luggage on a carpet-free floor.
- Place all fabric items immediately into a washer, followed by a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.
- Store luggage away from your bed. Try the basement or garage.
Bed bugs are elusive and love to hide anywhere close to human environments. They’ve been found in wallpaper, upholstery, electrical switch plates and picture frames.
If bed bugs still make their way back into your home, don’t compromise on your family’s welfare and peace of mind—contact a professional for complete eradication. Give Braman a call today. We can offer an expert assessment and treatment to rid your home of any unwanted souvenirs.