It's the MOST wonderful TIME of the yeeeeeaaaar… for Tampa bed bug exterminators. They'll be bed bugs a crawlin' and children a bawlin' when red welts appear! It's the MOST wonderful TIME of the yeeeeeaaaar.
As the holiday songs begin to play and decorations begin to appear in every store front, something else begins to happen; bed bugs hitch a ride with happy holiday travelers. It is the ghoulish side of the holidays that you probably won't hear about. Partly because most homes won't know they have bed bugs till they start to breed in mass quantities--which typically happens during the warmer months. So people won't make the connection between holiday traveling and the infestation in spring or summer. What's worse, most families will keep their infestation to themselves. No one wants to be known as the house that has bed bugs. The stigma surrounding bed bugs is almost as bad as lice.
This propensity for silence and the lack of public awareness is exactly what the bed bugs want. They need you to stay ignorant so they can continue to expand their territory. Well today the madness stops! Today, we say with one voice, "We will not go quietly into the night!" What? Too melodramatic? How about this?
Here is how you can keep from bringing bed bugs back to your Tampa home.
Before leaving, check to make sure your accommodations haven't had a bed bug incident report. Visit bedbugregistry.com and type in the name of the place you'll be staying. They'll even let you know if bed bugs have been reported in the area. It isn't a perfect tool, but it can help.
Put your bags on the tiled floor in the bathroom, until you've had a chance to check your room. Bed bugs don't typically hang out in the bathroom. They prefer the cozier areas.
Pull down bed spreads and check for bugs. They will look like little brown seeds, unless their belly has been rounded by a recent feeding, in which case they look similar to a tick.
Examine the sheets for dark brown blood stains. Bed bugs don't typically wipe their mouth after feeding.
Inspect the mattress and boxspring for black excrement. You will typically find bed bug feces on the corners or along the seams.
Use a flashlight to check the backboard and any furniture in the room.
While staying at your accommodations, refrain from leaving dirty clothes on the floor, and try to hang clothing instead of placing items in the dresser drawers.
Keep dirty clothes in a plastic bag with the top closed.
Inspect your luggage for hitchhikers before heading home.
Wash and dry all your clothing on the hottest temperature when you get home.
These precautions can save you from having an infestation in spring or summer. If you do find bed bugs in your home, realize that bed bugs can stay dormant, if they don't sense the right conditions. A bed bug can go months without feeding. Try to think of where you or your family has traveled in the last few months. That is probably where you got these bugs. Keeping informed, and keeping a watchful eye, is the best way to protect your family from bed bugs.