1. Look Up Pest Problems
It's important to look up pest problems where you're going. There may be travel warnings for your destination about pest-problems or pest-borne illnesses. This doesn't mean you can't go. It just means you should consider taking appropriate precautions and following the advice of those warnings.
2. Look at Online Reviews
Check out online reviews for where you'll be staying. If someone complains about rodents, mosquitoes, or bed bugs in the hotel – ask the hotel about it. If you find multiple reviews or a review that's very recent, think about re-booking to another hotel entirely.
3. Ask Your Doctor
Check with your doctor. Even if they don't know off-hand, they'll be able to look up accurate and reliable information for you quickly. There may be vaccines you need to get or prescription medications that you should be aware of in case you contract an illness. Malaria and Zika are two key illnesses that you should be aware of. Both can come from insect bites. Tick-borne illnesses can also be a problem.
4. Bring Insect Repellent!
That's why you should make sure to pack insect repellent or buy some once you reach your destination. Studies have shown that you can use repellents with DEET safely on your skin. Repellents with permethrin can be sprayed on clothes, but shouldn't be sprayed directly on skin. Never spray repellent on pets without talking to a vet first; pets lick their fur and so may ingest the chemicals.
5. Investigate the Area
When you first arrive at your accommodations, let your inner detective run wild. Bed bugs are on the rise recently. These are pests that are often too tiny to see, rarely come out in daylight, and will happily ride home with you in your clothes and luggage. When they infest an area, they're extremely difficult to get rid of. They bite animals at night – including people – and feed on our blood. In the thousands, they've been known to cause severe insomnia and even PTSD.
When you arrive, check beneath the mattress and fitted sheet. Bed bugs like to hide very near their host. The most likely sign is blood spots or spying tiny red dots.
While you're at it, keep an eye out for rodent droppings, gnaw marks, and take a quick look outside for wasps nests.
6. Listen to Fellow Vacationers
You're just arriving. People who have already been there a few days know the lay of the land. If you overhear someone talking about any kind of pest problem, politely ask if you can know more. Most anyone will be happy to talk to you about it, and they may have already figured out a way of dealing with it that you can use.
7. Clean Up After Yourself
Of course, you're on vacation. You get to rely on custodial services to clean things up every day. It's still a good idea to clean up food, spilled drinks, any food prep, and empty a trash can if it has leftover food in it. Put food away instead of leaving it out. These are the first things both rodents and bugs like roaches will be attracted to.
This may sound like quite a few steps, but each of these habits takes less than five minutes to do. None of them is difficult, and doing them can save you much more stress down the road. The last thing you want to deal with on vacation is pests. Knowing about pest-borne illnesses and both how to repel and treat them can save you pain and frustration. Making sure you don't bring any pests that travel back with you (like bed bugs) can save you from infesting your own home.
No one wants to come back even more stressed than they left, or needing a vacation from their vacation. Heed this easy-to-follow advice, and you'll be set for a worry-free and pest-free vacation. If you do have pests during the holidays, contact us to get rid of them quickly.