Bed Bug Prevention When Traveling

Traveling Anytime Soon?  Paragon Provides Tips On How To Steer Clear Of Bed Bugs

If you are traveling anytime soon where hotel accomodations are involved, keep this in the back of your mind: check for bed bugs!

According to the National Pest Management Association, 95 percent of U.S. based pest management companies surveyed indicated that their company has encountered a bed bug infestation in the past year.

Pest control experts stress that bed bugs are not sign of uncleanliness.  While large urban areas or cities that attract a lot of travelers may be more susceptible to the spread of bed bugs, these pests have been found from coast to coast and in urban, suburban and rural areas alike.  Bed bugs are nocturnal.  By day, they hide in cracks and crevices near beds and furniture and emerge at night to feed while their victims sleep.  Tey are usually found in headboards, box springs and bed frames, but will also harbor in nightstands, lamps, dressers, etc., near the bed.  Bed bugs are difficult to catch in the act of feeding; however, they will leave behind signs of their presence.  Infestation signs include:

  • Blood spots on bedding.
  • In heavily infested areas, their dark colored excrement may be visible.
  • Bed bug bites generally result in raised, itchy areas similar to those of mosquito bites.
  • In heavy infestations, a strong, musty odor may develop.

What can travelers do to protect themselves from bed bugs?

  • Check headboards, mattresses and box springs for bed bugs and the dark spots they leave behind.
  • Hang all clothing.  Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture.
  • Avoid unpacking clothing and storing your clothing in the hotel's furniture drawers.
  • Don't allow baggage to sit on the floor.  Store it on a luggage rack as far from the bed as possible.
  • If you notice evidence of bed bugs, request another room or change hotels.
  • When returning home, leave luggage in the garage or basement until you are able to thoroughly inspect it for bed bugs.
  • Vacuum suitcases when returning from trips, and immediately wash clothing in hot water.

What can homeowners do?

  • Inspect vintage furniture, antiques, used appliances or consignment items for signs of bed bugs before purchasing or bringing into the home.
  • Never pick up used mattresses or furniture left curbside.
  • Inspect and wash (in hot water) previously worn clothing that has been donated or purchased.
  • Quarantine infested items.  Moving them within the home can spread the problem.
  • Use zippered encasements on infested mattresses and box springs.

If you suspect you have an issue with bed bugs, contact your pest management professional for more information.