Are you going home for the holidays? If you are--I'm going to guess that you love your family and don't want to unleash a nightmare on them. Bed bugs love dorms. Many times, red welts are mistaken for mosquito or spider bites. You might even have a few bed bugs crawling around in your room and not even know it. The first indication is when you find three welts in a row. Bed bugs typically feast more than once a night and these bites will be near each other.
All it takes is one pregnant bed bug to infest a house in a short period of time. One female can have over 4,000 babies in her short life span. Those babies mature to adulthood in thirty days. That means an infestation can start to rear its ugly head in as little as three months. Before you go home for the holidays, consider running down through this checklist to protect your family from getting an infestation.
Before you go home, do a check of your room for bed bug activity. Pull your sheets down and look for tiny, brown, seed-like bugs. If they have had a blood meal recently, they will look more rounded, like a tick. Inspect your sheets for tiny, brown dried blood stains. Inspect the corners and seams of your mattress for black fecal residue.
Wash all your clothes on the hottest temperature and dry them on the hottest temperature. This will kill bed bugs, eggs, and larvae.
Check your luggage or bags with a flashlight to make sure you don't have any stowaways.
If you're staying somewhere between your dorm room and your home, check the bedbugregistry.com to see if anyone has reported bed bugs. Use the tips above when you check into your room.
Bed bugs can also travel in laptops and other electronics. If you have been battling with bed bugs in your room, take the added precaution of putting your electronics in a freezer for five days. This will kill an y bugs, eggs or larvae hiding inside.
The only way a bed bug is going to get into a home is by hitching a ride. With these simple precautions, you can protect your family from having to go through the process of purging the house of these pernicious bugs. And following these tips will help protect you the rest of your life. Stay vigilant. Stay informed. And keep the bed bugs from traveling with you.