IT’S BED BUG AWARENESS WEEK; HERE’S SOME PREVENTION TACTICSBed Bug Awareness Week (April 20 through 26), an observance by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, to promote public awareness about bed bugs. Plunkett’s is proud to join in this important industry effort and encourages people to brush up on some bed bug prevention tips to curb infestations, especially ahead of the summer travel season. Bed bugs are as much, if not more, of a problem than they were just a few years ago. A 2013 survey conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, found that nearly 100 percent of pest professionals had encountered bed bugs in the past year. Bed bugs are often associated with sanitation issues, but that’s not accurate. The truth is that these pests are found in many different environments. They are excellent hitchhikers and possess uncanny characteristics that make them extremely difficult to control. Vigilance is the key to avoiding an infestation. The NPMA recommends practicing these prevention tactics while out and about this spring and summer:
- Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home or college dorm without thoroughly examining it for signs of a bed bug infestation.
- At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
- If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
- Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
- Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
- Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting.
- Avoid putting bags and purses on the floor of dressing rooms, public transit, movie theaters, etc.