Humans aren’t the only ones taking summer vacations. Bed bugs love the travel season, too. It gives them a chance to get out, see new parts of the world and lay hundreds of eggs. Sadly, travel exposes you and your family to increased risk of bringing home tiny hitchhikers who can turn warm vacation memories into an itchy nightmare.
Protect yourself by learning how to notice the early signs of bed bugs and how to prevent stowaways in your luggage. Most importantly, if you do notice bed bugs, make sure you call a professional pest control expert immediately. Infestations can spiral out of control quickly. Contact Plunkett’s to stop bed bugs from spreading in your home or beyond.
How Do Bed Bug Infestations Start?
Unfortunately when it comes to traveling, there is always the possibility that a few bed bugs might find their way into your hotel room, and are too small or few to notice. They were likely brought in by the previous guest and hid deep under the mattress where the housekeeping staff didn’t notice them.
Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale during deep sleep, which prompts them to wander up into bed and feast on your blood, wander up into bed and feast on your blood.You might not even be aware that your arms and legs have already become midnight snacks, due to the fact that bed bugs will inject an anesthetic while they eat. Furthermore, around 30% of people actually don't even show any signs of bed bug bites!
Once these bed bugs have eaten, they hide away to digest, mate, and lay eggs for the next 5-10 days. Turns out that your suitcase is the perfect place to hunker down. Because of their small size and flat body shape, bed bugs are able to easily slip into your bags - perhaps that zippered compartment you never use!
Fast forward two weeks: those bed bugs in your luggage make their way home with you, find a cozy spot behind your bed’s headboard or in the folds of your curtains and lay between 1-5 eggs a day. Those bed bug eggs hatch in about a week and within a month you have a full-blown infestation with several hundred bed bugs in your home.
How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling
It’s easy to see how bed bugs can operate undetected until it’s too late. Your best chance of preventing an unwanted bed bug infestation is to take precautions while you’re traveling so they don’t become a souvenir. Here are a few bed bug precautions to take:
Since hitchhiking is the most common way bed bugs make their way to your home, start by limiting the ways they can get into your belongings.
- Use a hardshell suitcase that’s more difficult to slip into Use a hardshell suitcase that’s more difficult to slip into.
- Seal clothes and personal items in plastic bags.
- Keep bags closed when not in use.
- Store your things in the bathroom where bed bugs are less likely to find them.
Check Your Accommodations
Whether it’s a hotel, B&B, or even a relative's house, inspect the room you’re staying in for any bed bug signs before you settle in. We’ll outline what to look for below.
Never Place Suitcases or Bags on the Bed
We know it’s tempting, but if there are any bed bugs around, you’re essentially inviting them to hop in by leaving items on the bed. Ideally, you should keep your things away from the sleeping area or even in the bathroom.
If you do notice bed bugs or signs of them, alert management right away and get transferred to a different room. Bed bugs spread quickly and what is one guest’s problem today is suddenly the entire hotel’s problem tomorrow.
Treat Items When You Return Home
Upon returning home, unpack any clothing into your washing machine, wash all items in hot water, and dry with heat. If you suspect an infestation, contact a professional pest control service immediately. Early intervention can make a huge difference.
Bed Bug Signs to Watch For
Keep on the lookout for bed bugs during vacation and when you get home. Here are a few bed bug indicators to watch for:
Bed Bug Poop
Checking for any bed bug droppings in one of the best indicators that these pests are present. Bed bugs feast on blood so look for any rust-colored, brown or red stains on bedding, mattresses and linens. Check beneath mattresses and along the seams. Bed bugs may also hide on curtains, between dresser drawers and behind wood molding.
Bed Bug Shells
Like many insects, bed bugs molt, or shed their skin as they grow from their larvae to adult stage. Look for discarded skins or shells in the areas that you’d typically find bed bugs.
Many people notice a musty smell similar to coriander, overripe berries, or a wet basement.This is caused by pheromones that bed bugs when they feel threatened. While a slight odor in your bedroom may seem trivial, don’t overlook the possibility of bed bugs causing it.
Fast and Effective Bed Bug Treatment
The fact is, bed bugs travel all over the world just like people. If you’ve discovered that they’ve come home with you, get professional bed bug control quickly. You do not want the problem to grow or to become a vector for other people’s misery.
When you call Plunkett’s for bed bug treatment, they will:
- Inspect your property to determine the area affected by bed bugs.
- Use K9 detection if necessary
- Determine the best course of treatment
- Provide a cost estimate for your plan
- Schedule three service visits for treatment
- Back up treatment with a 45 day guarantee
Don’t wait, schedule your appointment with Plunkett’s today. Trust our technicians to quickly identify and treat your bed bug problem. with Plunkett’s today. Trust our technicians to quickly identify and treat your bed bug problem.