Resurgence of Travel Brings Back Bed Bugs
Kids are coming home from college, the end of the school year is right around the corner for younger ones, and people are starting to think about summer travel. At this time of year in 2016, 2017, and 2018 it seemed as though every newspaper across the country was reporting on the surge in bed bug cases. For years, people heard of the horror stories of bringing bed bugs home from vacation. Then, as the pandemic forced us all to completely stop travel, bed bugs seemed to disappear. Unfortunately, they didn’t really disappear, and with the resurgence in travel has come the resurgence of bed bugs. Keep these tips in mind when you travel this summer.
- Before you leave consider the type of suitcase you will use. Hard sided suitcases provide the most protection from bed bugs, but for many of us it is simply not in our budget to buy new suitcases. Instead there is a quick, easy, and inexpensive trick: bring large trash bags with you. It may sound crazy, but if you place your suitcase in a large trash bag once you get to your destination, bed bugs will have a very difficult time catching a ride home with you.
- Speaking of destinations, once you get to your destination, don’t unpack immediately. Many of us want to get settled as soon as we arrive, but your first step when you enter your hotel room or rented home should be to inspect for bed bugs. Before you even put your suitcase on the bed you should inspect the bed room. Although bed bugs can be found in a variety of places from sofas to rugs, the first place you really should look for a bed bug is, the bed. Start at the top of the bed and pull back the sheets so that the mattress is exposed. Do you see any small dark colored dots? A bed bug is described by many as looking like an apple seed. Bed bug excrement is often described as looking like pepper. If you see either of these things there is a very good chance that there is a bed bug infestation.
- After your inspection, enjoy your vacation. If you inspected the area and didn’t find anything, your chance of bringing home bed bugs is slim, but it still exists. To even further decrease your chance of getting bed bugs there are a few steps you should take once you return from your trip. First, if you are able to leave you suitcase outside of your home in a protected area that is great. Take all of the clothes you brought with you (even if you didn’t wear them) and put them directly into the washing machine. Wash and dry your clothes at the highest temperature your clothes will allow. Vacuum your suitcase (paying special attention to the zippers) then throw the contents of the vacuum out in an outdoor trash bin.
Even if you have stayed in expensive accommodations and taken precautions once you got there, there is a slim chance that bed bugs could have traveled home with you. If this is the case, we at Cowleys can help! Taking care of the problem quickly and efficiently by using Cowleys will significantly decrease the chance of the problem growing out of hand.