During the holiday season many of us find ourselves traveling. Now, you can stay on your aunt's pull out couch, with that deep depression in the middle, that makes your back ache for days, or you can choose to stay somewhere nearby. But staying in a hotel or motel, no matter how luxurious, can bring the danger of bed bugs. Bed bugs are notorious for hitching a ride. And, even the most affluent travelers can pick them up as they circle the globe.
Make sure to check your accommodations before you start settling in. The last thing you need is to bring a bed bug infestation home with you. Do you know that all it takes is one female bed bug to infest your home? If she is carrying eggs, she can hitch a ride in your luggage or duffel bags, and hatch her babies in your home. A female bed bug can have over 4000 babies in a six month period, and bed bugs grow to adulthood in just about a month. Here are a few precautions to keep those bed bugs from coming home with you.
Use a flashlight to check the corners and the edges of your mattress and box spring. If you see jet black residue, that feels sticky to the touch, it may be bed bug feces. Contact the manager immediately, and have him inspect it.
Use that flashlight to also check between the sheets. You're looking for a tiny brown spec of a bug. It looks like a cross between a cockroach and a tick.
As you are examining the sheets, look for tiny, dark brown spots. Blood is hard to wash out of sheets, and you may see the evidence of bed bugs that feasted on the last occupants--though, be aware, if you do find these spots, it may not be your room that is infested. Those sheets could have been in another room. But this will alert you to the potential problem.
Keep your bags zipped, unless you are getting something out.
For added protection, you can keep your bags in a plastic bag.
Don't leave clothes laying on the floor, or crumpled in a chair.
Put your dirty laundry in a sealed plastic bag.
After sleeping, check your skin for any mosquito type welts, and check your sheets for any blood spots.
Always check your clothes and your luggage with a flashlight, before you head home.
These simple precautions can prevent you from having a bed bug nightmare a couple months down the road. Almost all bed bug infestations start with a hitchiker. By being aware of this threat, you can safeguard your family and your home. Prevention starts with awareness. Enjoy your holiday travels and keep an eye out for these pests.