If you will be traveling this holiday season or taking a trip right after the new year, make sure you follow the four tricks outlined below to ensure that you don't bring any bed bugs home with you from your travels.
#1 Use A Hard-Shelled Suitcase
The first way to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you during your travels this holiday season is to pay attention to the suitcase that you chose to bring along with you in the first place. Bed bugs really like cloth; they can cling to it easily and catch a ride, which is why using a hard-shelled suitcase is best if you want to keep the bed bugs at bay.
Any potential bed bugs you encounter will have a hard time hitching a ride on your hard-shelled suitcase, and there will not be as many cozy corners inside of your suitcase for them to hide inside.
Additionally, you can easily wipe down your hard-shelled suitcase as you travel to ensure that no bugs are trying to catch a ride with an antibacterial wipe.
#2 Be Careful About Where You Set Your Suitcase
As mentioned above, bed bugs like to hang out near fabric. That means in your hotel room you are far more likely to find bed bugs hanging out in the carpet or on the bed than you are to find them on top of a wooden dresser, inside a closet, or on a vinyl or hardwood floor.
When staying in hotel rooms, don't place your suitcase on the carpet or on the bed. Instead, place your suitcase on top of the dresser or on a shelf in the closet. If you have to open up your entire suitcase, do it where there is vinyl or hardwood flooring in your hotel room. Hang up your clothes on in the closet; do not lay them out on the bed.
Keeping your clothes away from other cloth surfaces in your hotel room will help reduce the chance that you'll bring home bed bugs if any are present.
#3 Check Your Room For Bed Bugs
One of the first things you should do when you check into your hotel room is check it for bed bugs. Although they like to hide, with a little snooping, you should be able to spot their presence. Pull back the sheets and blanket on the mattress and look for any bugs moving around or any little blood spots that look like smashed bugs. Bed bugs like to hide in the seams of sheets and blankets and around the edge of the bed.
You should also look around and behind the headboard as well as at the window treatments and any furniture that is upholstered in your room. If you spot or think you spot bed bugs, ask to change rooms or ask for a refund and find a new hotel. You don't have to stay in a room that you believe may be infected with bed bugs.
#4 Clean Your Belongs When You Get Home
Finally, before you even bring your suitcase into your house, vacuum the outside of your suitcase. Then, put all of your clothes inside of a plastic bag and vacuum out the inside of your suitcase as well.
Take your clothes right inside and wash them with hot water. You should also do the same with any clothes that you traveled in as you can pick up bed bugs on trains, buses and airplanes just as easily as hotel rooms. If you have more than one load of clothes, leave the clothes you can't wash right away in a bag in your garage or back porch. That way, you don't take any risks with inviting bed bugs into your home.
If you follow the four steps outlined above this holiday season and during any travels you undertake in the new year, you should be able to avoid bringing home bed bugs with you. These preventative measures will help reduce the chance of you bringing home an uninvited guest. Should you still find yourself with a pest problem, call professionals for bed bug treatment ASAP.