We don’t want you to have bed bugs damper your holiday spirit. In this article, we want to help you avoid bringing bed bugs back while traveling for Christmas.
Why Bed Bugs Make Poor Travel Partners
Bed bugs are small oval-shaped insects that are roughly the size of a small seed. They survive by feeding on the blood of animals and humans. Their flat bodies and reddish-brown color distinguish them from other insects.
Skin rashes, infections, and allergic reactions are all possible side effects if you or your family are bitten by bedbugs. They aren't particularly hazardous, but they are certainly inconvenient.
Bed bugs can get into your home via luggage, clothing, secondhand furniture, and holiday gifts. Their size makes it possible for them to crawl into tight areas while remaining unseen by the untrained eye. Bed bugs, unlike ants and bees, do not build nests, but they do tend to reside in groups in various hiding spots within your home.
If bed bugs return with you from vacation, you can expect to experience:
- Bloodstains on sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rusty spots from bed bugs excrement on sheets and mattresses, bedding, and walls
- Fecal matter, encasing from their eggs, or shed skin in areas when bed bugs hide
- An unpleasant, musty odor from the bug’s scent glands
So, how can you keep bed bugs from traveling with you?
Five Tips for Keeping Bed Bugs from Traveling Home With You
1) Keep an Eye Out for Signs of Bed Bugs Wherever You Stay
Bed bugs are looking for their next free ride. Whether you are staying with friends or family or in a hotel or vacation rental, if bed bugs are present, they are going to try to tag along with you.
Look for signs like those mentioned above. If you see any signs at all, request a room change as soon as possible.
Do not unpack your clothes if there are any signs of bed bugs.
2) Keep Your Clothes off of the Bedding
Bed bugs may be present even if you do not necessarily see the signs. One of the most common places they will gather is, of course, on the bed and within the sheets and comforter.
Even if you do not see any indication of bed bugs, it is always a good idea to keep your clothes off of the bedding wherever you stay.
3) Use Luggage Coverings
Even if bed bugs do not get in your clothes, they can hitch a ride in your luggage. You might want to know if you have extra protection against bed bugs when you are traveling.
To provide an additional barrier against these small hitchhikers, you can consider covering your luggage with a plastic barrier.
4) Clean Your Clothes and Luggage When You Return
After you have been traveling during the holidays, the last thing you want to do is laundry. While you want to believe washing clothes can wait until the next day after you return from your trip, procrastinating will give bed bugs time to establish themselves in your home.
One of the most important things you can do to avoid a bed bug infestation is to wash your clothes in hot water as soon as you return. Additionally, you want to vacuum out your luggage and wash any blankets or sleeping bags.
5) Watch for Bed Bugs at Home
Keep an eye out for signs of bed bugs in the days following your trip. Look for even the tiniest trace of bed bugs on all bedding and clothing.
If you suspect bed bugs have hitched a ride with your family, you will want to act fast.
What to Do if You Find Bed Bugs
Even if you do everything right, you could still end up with bed bugs after traveling during the holidays. Here are a few suggestions for how to get rid of them:
- Remove any clutter from the rooms that have been infested by bed bugs.
- All contaminated bedding, linens, and pillows should be washed. This includes sheets, pillowcases, bed skirts, etc.
- As long as you are dealing with an infestation of bed bugs, you will want to vacuum carpets, molding, windowsills, and other surfaces.
- Using a firm brush, scrub the mattresses and mattress seams.
- Have your bed bugs exterminated by a professional.
We've seen our fair share of these pests throughout our decades of exterminating. Bed bugs are one of the most despised insects on the planet.
Contact us right away if you notice signs that bed bugs have caught a ride with your family and have determined to live in your home. We can usually respond within 24 hours and eliminate bed bugs permanently.