Many children get to enjoy a break from school during the short month of February. If you are one of the many families in Northern Florida ready to jet set to a place far away, or even close by, don’t bring home the bed bugs! Traveling is the easiest way to infest your home with these pests, but it can all be prevented. Follow these 5 tips to avoid bed bugs during your February vacation.
1. Pack your clothing in large sealable bags
Whether you are taking a trip to a tropical place or heading north to hit the ski slopes, you can begin the prevention of bed bugs with your packing. If you don’t already have them, you should purchase large, plastic, sealable bags to keep your clothing safely secured from any bed bugs that could easily hop into your suitcase on the plane or in the hotel. Bring an extra one for dirty clothing on your way back, too.
2. Inspect the airplane and hotel room for signs of a bed bug infestation
The next tip to avoid bed bugs involves learning how to inspect for them. It is pretty simple as long as you know what to look for and where to look. If there is an infestation or bed bugs have been biting you will likely see: insects themselves, shed skins, dark brown spotting, and/or bloodstains. Leave the room or seat right away if you spot any of these things.
If your mattress appears to be free of any signs of bed bugs, do not be fooled into thinking that you are safe. Hotel room inspections require you to look a lot further than just the bed. Since bed bugs are tiny and have flat bodies they could easily be hiding out on the headboard, nightstands, under carpet, behind art work on the walls, in electrical outlets, and any other hidden, dark spaces. So make sure your inspections are thorough! Use a flashlight so you can better see any dark corners and crevices.
3. Keep luggage up off the ground in any rooms you stay in
Do not bring in or unpack any of your luggage and belongings until you are sure there no bed bugs in your room. The safest place for your luggage is high in the closet shelves. If your hotel room has any signs of bed bugs, leave the room right away and alert the front desk staff. Don’t worry, just because one room has bed bugs it does not mean any others do. Hotels should have well developed bed bug response plans so that the problem does not spread.
4. Wash all clothing immediately when you arrive home
When you arrive home, immediately wash all of your clothing on the hottest temperature available to the fabrics. Hot water will kill any eggs or live bugs that may have made their way back.
5. Inspect and vacuum your suitcases before storing them
One final inspection of your suitcase is a good idea before it gets put back into storage until the next vacation. It’s best to keep it outside or in a garage until you are sure there no signs of bed bugs. Also, a good vacuum of all your suitcases will ensure that they are not storing any pests who may infest your home.
By following these 5 bed bug prevention tips, you should be able to enjoy a vacation without the bed bugs biting. Keep in mind that bed bugs have no preference over cleanliness or filth. All parties are equally able to bring bed bugs home, so never assume that it won’t happen to you. If you do find yourself, or any of your family waking up to small red bites on their skin, you could have been bitten by bed bugs. To get more information on bed bug treatments in Jacksonville, Tampa, and Tallahassee as well as Northern Florida, or if you have identified an infestation in your home, contact the Florida bed bug experts at McCall Service to help!