If celebrating the holidays involves getting on a plane or piling into the family car, there’s something you should keep in mind: the threat of bed bugs.
Although we’d all like to think we’re staying in pest-free accommodations, the reality is that bed bugs lurk in even the nicest hotels and rentals. You don’t have to resign yourself to sleeping with one eye open, though. With a little knowledge and planning, you can avoid hosting bed bugs in your own home.
How to Spot Bed Bugs
Even wondered what bed bugs look like? Bed bugs are notoriously tiny–about 3/16″ to 1/4″ long–which makes them difficult to find. When you arrive at your hotel, inspect the mattress and furniture with a flashlight to better spot these puny pests. You can identify bed bugs by the following traits:
- Flightless wings
- Bodies about the size of apple seeds
- Brown or rust-colored
- Oval-shaped bodies
- A sweet, musty smell around your mattress
Other Signs of an Infestation
Bed bugs’ tiny size makes them difficult to identify with the naked, untrained eye. When you arrive at your hotel, bed and breakfast, or other accommodations, inspect your mattress for the following tell-tale clues of bed bugs’ presence:
- Small, brown blood stains
- Dark, dot-like droppings
- Eggs the size of a pinhead
Bed bugs can easily travel to nearby rooms. If you spot any of the above signs of a bed bug infestation, request a replacement room several floors away from the original. Inspect your luggage as well to avoid transporting the pests to your new location.
How do bed bugs travel?
You may wonder how these teensy pests get around so easily. What bed bugs lack in size, they make up for in resourcefulness. They often crawl into purses, backpacks, and suitcases. They can even end up hitching a ride on your clothes. Once they’ve made it to their destination (your home or apartment), bed bugs can easily crawl behind walls, on pipes, and through tiny openings in ceilings and floors.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
Being vigilant is your best defense against picking up bed bugs from a hotel. However, even if you know how to prevent bed bugs, it’s still possible to miss these diminutive hangers-on when inspecting your belongings.
Give yourself an extra layer of confidence by checking your things before you bring them into the house. Take the contents of each bag directly to the laundry room, and wash everything in the hottest water possible. Dry cleaning can eliminate bed bugs from delicate items, but you should give your cleaner notice as a courtesy.
Learn How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs with McCall Service
If you still end up with a bed bug infestation despite your best efforts, all is not lost. Contact a trusted local pest control company as quickly as possible. Avoid the temptation to try and eliminate the problem yourself. In addition to damaging your home and belongings, do-it-yourself bed bug control with heat and harsh chemicals can endanger your health and safety.
Knowing how to prevent bed bugs can help you lower your odds of bringing home an infestation. If you do find a straggler, however, reach out to McCall Service right away. The sooner we can treat your bed bug issue, the sooner we can safeguard your home.
Count on McCall Service to solve your bed bug problems. Contact us for a free quote today!