Posted on: 28 March 2022Share
Are you planning a family vacation? While bed bugs aren't on your mind right now, you may bring back more than a tan and a few seashells from your next trip. Before you fly away to a tropical locale, take a look at what you need to know about traveling, bed bugs, and pest control after you return home.
How Can Travel Raise the Bed Bug Infestation Risk?
Travel isn't the only way bed bugs enter homes. But moving from place to place may increase the risk. These hitchhikers may catch a ride from travel destinations to homes. After homes and apartments, hotels and motels are the third most common place to find bed bugs, according to the National Pest Management Association's (NPMA) Bugs Without Borders survey. The NMPA's survey also shows that sixty-eight percent of pest control professionals report serving hotels/motels for bed bug-related issues.
How Do You Know If A Hotel Has Bed Bugs?
There are a few ways to detect a potential hotel bed bug infestation. The first is a second-hand method that some travelers prefer. Before you book your accommodations, look for recent reviews (within the last few weeks) that include information on pests. Past customers will gladly share a negative experience that left them with their own bed bug infestation.
If you can't find reviews or don't trust the honesty of the reviews, you will need to do some on-site detective work after you arrive at the hotel. Bed bugs are notoriously hard to find. The first sign you might notice is on your body. Small itchy, red bites could point to a bed bug infestation. But it's also possible there are spiders in the room, you have a rash from your sunscreen, or had an allergic reaction to something else on your vacation.
Along with bites, look for signs of the pests in your hotel room or vacation rental. These include the bugs (small, apple seed-shaped brownish to reddish colored bugs) almost anywhere in the room, red or rusty stains on the mattress or bedding, pinpoint-sized dark bed bug excrement spots on bedding or other soft surfaces, pale yellow bed bug nymph skins, or yellowish eggs. Even though the name of this pest implies that it lives in beds, the hotel room mattress isn't the only place you'll find these bugs. Bed bugs may hide in bedding or on a mattress. But you can also find the pests in drawer joints, couch/chair seams, curtains, electrical receptacles, behind artwork, or behind wallpaper.
What Should You Do If You Bring Home Bed Bugs?
Don't try to remove the pests yourself. This job requires professional pest control services. Vacuum your luggage and wash/dry all clothing items. Place everything you can't wash into sealed plastic bags while you wait for the pest contractor to evaluate and treat the issue.