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Helpful Hints for a Bed Bug-Free Vacation [INFOGRAPHIC]

posted this on Apr 17, 2017

bed bug infographic


One of the biggest things that we all look forward to every year is vacation time. Whether it’s during the summer or over the holidays during winter, families love to travel and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the weekly grind at work or school and just get away from it all for a little bit. However, one must be careful during travels so you don’t bring an unwanted souvenir like bed bugs back home with you.


There are a ton of fun things you can bring back from an awesome vacation getaway: a souvenir or postcard, a cool t-shirt or some other unique item which can only be purchased from the destination you ventured to. However, one thing that is never fun to bring back are bed bugs.


Bloodsucking bed bugs were once concentrated overseas in Africa and Asia but due to travel, immigration and tourism over the years, they’ve made their way on US soil, plaguing homeowners and making travelers regret taking their trip away.  There's nothing that takes the joy out of a vacation like unpacking bed bugs who hitched a ride on your luggage and are crawling around in your swimsuits.


How Do Bed Bugs Follow Us Home?

It’s a nightmare that no one wants to bring home while traveling on vacation but it’s a reality that happens more often than people would like to admit: bed bugs hitchhiking and becoming unwanted guests in our luggage and making themselves comfortable in their new home, YOUR HOME!


So how is it that bed bugs find their way in our belongings when on vacation. Are they waiting in the sand while we frolic at the beach? Are they waiting in the wings at famous landmarks for the right opportunity to pounce onto our things? No. The most likely reason is that bed bugs are in those hotels and suites that we keep our things at and rest our heads at night.


According to a recent survey of pest control professionals by Pest Control Technology magazine, hotels and motels are the most common sites of bed bug infestations, accounting for more than one-third of bed bug complaints.


Bed bugs are a sneaky insect which tend to discreetly move their way into luggage and on clothing. Bed bugs also hide in mattress to be close to their warm-blooded prey, the unsuspecting traveler. While bed bugs aren’t transmitters of disease, bed bugs feed on human blood and can traumatize their victims, leading to anxiety and stress-ridden sleepless nights. Bed bugs are the size of an apple seed and have flat, oval bodies that are light to reddish-brown in color. They usually aren’t seen until they’ve swelled in size and color because of feeding.


A common misconception are that bed bugs are only found at the dirty, cheap hotels. Nothing could be further from the truth. Bed bugs can be found at even the most expensive five-star hotel. Bed bug presence is not a matter of sanitation, it’s because of people. Bed bugs are brought into hotels by the various guests that check in and out of the hotel.


So no matter how nice the hotel is, one guest who may unwittingly be bringing in bed bugs can spark a full-blown infestation in a hotel that will make life miserable for visitors and hotel staff.

Bed Bug Travel Horror Stories


A number of our customers here at Solutions Pest & Lawn have detailed their terrible experiences encountering bed bugs after coming back from a trip out of town or out of the country.


One our customers who purchased a bed bug kit from us told us that she was brought home bed bugs after staying at an upscale hotel on vacation. She told us that she woke up feeling itchy in the middle of the night and turned on the lights, when to her horror she saw bed bugs all over the bed and comforter and pillows. “I pulled the sheets off and screamed. They were just everywhere. It was a nightmare.”


Some of our other customers shared similar stories of waking up with bites found all over them, finding bed bugs in their laundry and other bed bug encounters. It is because of these incidents that we decided to put together this simple bed bug travel guide and infographic that you can turn to as a reference to eliminate or prevent bed bugs from jumping into your belongings in the first place.

5 Steps to a Bed Bug Free Vacation

1. Leave your Luggage at the Door! You can never be too sure that there will be bed bugs in your hotel room so when you enter, leave your luggage right at the door, preferably on a table or luggage rack and not on any upholstery or carpeting. Another good area to place them is in the bathroom since bed bugs rarely hang around there.


After a good inspection, you can move them where you wish or to be on the safe side, keep the luggage at the door for the entire duration of your trip.


bed bug inspection


2. Get To Inspecting! If you want to be completely sure your hotel room doesn’t have bed bugs, you’ve gotta inspect it yourself. Don’t leave it to the hotel staff to assure you the room is clean and without bed bugs. Rooms that were bed bug-free one night can be infested with bed bugs by a guest who left them behind the next night. Infestations often go undetected, spreading to adjacent rooms through vents, ducts, plumbing conduits, even by hotel staff.


Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress and box-spring seams to check for bed bugs. You should also scan for brownish red spots, these are blood spots and fecal deposits that bed bugs leave behind. Use a flashlight or a light on your phone to check for those dark secluded areas for potential bed bugs.

leave immediately

3. Lift the mattress and box spring and check underneath them.
Pay close attention to the crevices, folds and seams as these are the places where bed bugs love to hide. You’ll be surprised where you’ll find bed bugs hiding out. If there are couches or other pieces of furniture make sure to check those too


leave immediately


4. If you find bed bugs, leave the room immediately. Take your things and get out of the room (a good reason why it’s best to leave your luggage at the door) and inform the hotel staff immediately. If they cannot accommodate you with a bed bug-free room, get a refund and leave.


It’s usually best to do your research on a hotel before you book a room with them and read the latest reviews and bed bug reports from hotels so you know which ones have an issue. However again, a hotel can be absolutely fine and have no issues one day and come down with an infestation the next depending on what guest brought bed bugs in.


We also suggest that no matter where you stay, you carry with out a nice bed bug aerosol spray like Bedlam Plus Bed Bug Killer or JT Eaton Kills Bed Bug Plus Spray Aerosol and spray your luggage inside and out before heading back to the airport


wash everything

5. Wash and Dry EVERYTHING. When you get have returned home from vacation, unpack in a garage, cleared laundry area or in your bathtub rather than on the bed. Inspect your baggage and contents for signs of bed bugs.


If you find any, kill the bedbugs that have followed you home in your clothing by tossing them in the washer and then into the dryer on high heat for half an hour. Vacuum your luggage and store away from bedroom.


Immediately dispose of the vacuum bag and storage bags. Items that can’t be put in the washer can be sealed in plastic bags and frozen for two weeks or placed in a hot, closed car for 2 hours to kill off any bed bugs.

By following these steps you can rest easy knowing bed bugs are hitching a ride back home with you. Keep this guide bookmarked and also check out our bed bug control section to shop for bed bug control products and bed bug kits.


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