Tips to Stay Bed Bug Free When Traveling
Did you know that every US state has reported a bed bug issue? Keeping yourself, your family, and your luggage bed bug free is a huge concern – especially when traveling.
Bed bugs do not only bite, causing skin irritations and other potential health problems. They also find their way into luggage, which gives them a way to cause an expensive infestation in your home.
Don’t let them bug you when you’re supposed to be having fun in the sun! Read on to learn seven ways to keep your summer vacation free of these pests.
1. Check Reviews
Travel can get expensive. You may see a deal and jump on it to lower your vacation cost.
But, make sure you check the guest reviews to make sure your good deal does not turn into a nightmare. If you book an Airbnb, make sure you only stay with somebody who has a verified ID and prior reviews.
Watch how guests talk about cleanliness. If the room isn’t properly cleaned, then pests can creep in from other guests’ bags and will make it hard to stay bed bug free.
2. Inspect Your Room
Do not assume that bed bugs will not infest a hotel because of their big name. Whenever you check into your hotel, motel, or Airbnb, run a thorough inspection and make sure your room is bed bug free.
Leave your luggage outside the door as you do this. If even one pregnant female bug makes her way into your bag, she can quickly reproduce to cause a bigger issue.
Female bed bugs lay about 1-7 eggs per day. In a matter of months, your room could end up full of them.
How to Inspect
Look over all of the furniture in your hotel room. Take cushions off of couches, pull away sheets, and move the mattress and ensure the furniture and beds are bed bug free.
The bugs appear tiny and clear to apple seed-sized and brownish, depending on their age. Their head looks much smaller than their thorax.
But, look for more than bugs. Search for small eggs or egg casings.
Crushed bugs will leave rusty red stains beneath the mattress and cushions. They will also leave tiny specks of excrement on the fabric. These are easy to find signs that the room you’re staying in is not bed bug free.
3. Store Luggage in the Bathroom
Sometimes you may not spot a small bed bug issue with an inspection. To keep your belongings safe and bed bug free, consider storing your luggage in the bathroom.
Curtains, couches, and bedding can all hold these pests. Storing your stuff in the vicinity of these fabrics puts it at risk.
Staff typically bleaches the hotel bathrooms and leaves new, clean towels on a daily basis. Bedbugs most likely will not make their way in there.
For an extra safety precaution, you may close your luggage inside a clean plastic bag. This will ensure pests cannot get in and your clothing remains bed bug free.
4. Use Repellent
Keep yourself and your belongings bed bug free by using essential oils. Scents that smell good to you may repel these pests.
Tea tree oil smells clean and fresh. This scent actually damages their exoskeleton and will keep them far away.
Lavender oil also repels these pests. As an added bonus, you may sleep better as the sweet smell calms anxiety and induces sleepiness.
If you enjoy the smell of peppermint oil, use this to keep bed bugs from biting you on the bed sheets. This kind of oil doubles as an antifungal and kills some common bacteria, so it will help you feel safer all around in the sheets.
Mix the essential oil of your choice with water in a spray bottle. Generously spritz your luggage.
Spray the hotel pillows, blankets, and sheets individually. This will help prevent you from getting bitten.
5. Change Rooms
If you do find signs of bed bugs in your room, speak up! Do not keep quiet and stay in the room anyhow.
Take pictures of the evidence. This may help you out if the hotel tries to cover up the problem.
Immediately alert the staff. They will need to investigate your room and the surrounding areas.
Do not allow them to put you in a room nearby instead. Bedbugs can easily spread into other spaces, so that may pose a threat to you as well.
While this pest problem could happen anywhere, you may want to question staying in that space at all. Ask for a refund and make sure they know that you understand your rights.
Hotels have a duty of care for their patrons, and have a duty to keep their rooms bed bug free. Do not let them talk you in circles about it.
6. Look Through Your Luggage
Even if you did not notice anything off, check your luggage when you arrive back home. Look through it outside, before stepping foot in your home.
Even in a clean hotel, a little pest could crawl from a dirty suitcase from down the hall. Shake out each item of clothing individually and check through all pockets on your bag.
If you do find a bug, seal all of its contents in a bag. Leave it outside for a couple of days if possible.
When you bring it inside, throw all clothing into the dryer at the hottest setting. Vacuum out your suitcase right away to leave little possibility for bugs to survive.
7. Call for Help
What happens if you did everything right, but missed the signs? You may end up with bedbugs in your home.
If this happens, call your local pest control to help you with the situation. They will help you rid your home of these bugs quickly and efficiently.
In the meantime, treat your bedding as you would suitcase contents. Vacuum everything from the mattress to the surrounding floor.
Spray the essential oils around your room. Check other areas of the house to make sure the critters did not spread.
Avoid Bed Bugs on Your Summer Vacation
While these steps and tips will help reduce the likelihood of a bed bug issue, there is no guaranteed way to eliminate all risks. Do your best to avoid bed bugs on your summer vacation. Most of the time, it’s the people who overlook these details that end up with a problem.
If the unthinkable happens and you find them in your home, we can help. Fill out the form for your free estimate today.