The bed bug onslaught that picked up steam in recent years shows no signs of slowing down. If you're preparing to travel at home or abroad, there is a chance you'll bring these bloodsuckers home with you – unless you take proper precautions. These tips from McCall Service, serving Tampa, FL and the surrounding area, will help prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride back to your hometown after your next trip.
Pre-Travel Bed Bug Prevention
If bed bug horror stories have you so paranoid your exterminator is on speed dial, be aware there are steps you can take before even leaving your home. Although new infestations can happen anytime at hotels, check BedBugRegistry.com to see if your lodgings are listed. A single incident could have been cleared up a long ago, but watch for multiple entries. Also, perform the following when planning to travel:
- Pack a small flashlight for inspections
- Choose hard-sided luggage in light colors
- Bring a trash bag for each suitcase and multiple resealable plastic bags
Bed Bug Signs
Once you arrive, put your suitcases in garbage bags or the bathtub. Grab that flashlight, and inspect the mattress, mattress cover, box springs and linens for signs of an infestation. Look for crawling reddish-brown, flat or oval bugs and translucent nymphs. Be on the look out for small, white, sticky eggs, light-yellow shed skins, and reddish-black excrement as well.
Once the bed has passed inspection, check behind the headboard and inside nightstands and other furniture. If you do find bed bug signs, request a room in another part of the hotel, or arrange for other accommodations if possible. Just be aware that these critters may have migrated to nearby rooms too. After settling in, put your clothes in re-sealable plastic bags before placing them in drawers.
Removing Bed Bugs
Whether or not you found bed bugs in your room, inspect your luggage before heading home. Check compartments and other nooks and crannies. Wash clothes and dry them using high heat to kill any strays and their eggs; freezing is also effective. De-bug your luggage by placing it in trash bags and leaving it in a hot car.
Don't let bed bugs take the fun out of your next trip. Follow these tips from the bed bug removal pros at McCall Service to prevent the need for an exterminator. If you already have an infestation, our pest control experts can restore safety and comfort to your home in Tampa, FL.