Avoid Bedbugs When Traveling!!!

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

bedbug life cycle
The best way to prevent bedbugs is to act preventively and remain vigilant, both during travel and once you return home, according to Missy Henriksen, Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association. The following advice may help reduce the risk of bringing them into your home:
  1. Thoroughly examine your room for signs of infestation: Pull back bed sheets and inspect mattress seams, especially at the corners, look behind the headboard, inside chair and couch cushions, behind picture frames, on and around window treatments and in-between folds of material, and electrical outlets, and inspect carefully for pepper-like stains, spots, or the insects themselves. Adult bedbugs resemble a flat apple seed.
  2. If you notice any sign of insects, request a different room: Notify management, ask for a room far away (definitely not adjacent, above, or below) from the suspicious one, or go to a different hotel, if necessary.
  3. Never place luggage or any of your belongings on a hotel bed or floor: Bedbugs can hide in the tiniest crevices, inside of the bed’s box-spring, behind woodwork, in cracks, lamps, fabric window treatments, bedskirts, wooden furniture, wall sockets, hardwood floor cracks, etc., and are often looking for ways to hitchhike to a new victim’s home.
  4. Use luggage racks when available: Put your luggage on a luggage rack placed inside, or as close to the bathroom and far away from the sleeping area as possible. The bathroom is often ideal due to it’s hard, flat surfaces and ceramic tile. Bedbugs usually cannot find a place to hide there.
  5. Protect your belongings: Even if there is no sign of bedbugs, cover your bags with a protective cover, such as a clean, plastic trash bag, to reduce the risk of anything entering the suitcase.
  6. Avoid placing your personal belongings on the floor of an airplane, bus, restaurant, taxi, or train: Keep your purse on your lap at all times, for security, as well as, to prevent anything from crawling onto it. Protect larger items and luggage inside a protective plastic cover before checking them in at the airport or placing them in an overhead bin.
  7. Separate used or dirty belongings from clean items with Zip-Loc bags or plastic bag: Using separate, sealable plastic bags, sort your laundry as you would at home, i.e., light-colored from dark-colored clothing, delicate items requiring special care from regular wash items that can withstand high temperatures, and “dry clean only” items. This will make it quicker and easier for you to place items into the washing machine when you return home, as well as reduce the risk of bedbugs escaping. Contain all items suspected of possibly carrying bedbugs in plastic bags until they can be laundered, washed by hand, heated, or frozen. Note that if heating or freezing is used, the item(s) must be heated or frozen thoroughly to the core, in order to kill any bedbugs or eggs.
  8. Take precautions to avoid bringing bedbugs into your home when you return: 
    • Inspect all luggage pieces before bringing them into your home.
    • Vacuum and wipe luggage (using a clean, white or light-colored damp rag) before storing.
    • Use a hand-held garment steamer, if possible, to kill any bedbugs or eggs that still might be inside the luggage.
    • Immediately wash and dry all of your clothes, including those not worn, using the highest temperatures.
    • Keep items requiring dry-cleaning in a sealed plastic bag, until you can take them to the dry cleaner.
9. If you develop bite marks or suspect that your home may have bedbugs: Thoroughly and frequently examine, clean, and vacuum every surface and crevice, including baseboards, woodwork, underneath beds, cushions, and furniture. Always dispose of a used vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag, as soon as you complete vacuuming, to prevent any insects from escaping. Contact a pest control professional with bedbug experience as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat a bedbug problem, the worse the infestation will become and the harder to eradicate. Red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders, are often the first signs of bedbugs. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites, unlike some other insects that leave bites here and there:Bedbug bites on person's arm
10. If your home does requires treatment for bedbugs: Continue to be vigilant, thoroughly cleaning and vacuuming your home frequently. Always dispose of a used vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag, as soon as you complete vacuuming. Work with your pest professional until the problem is eradicated or under control.
Anderson, John; Hamid, Bonnie. Photo of “The Life Cycle of a Bed Bug.” BedBug Life Cycle Guide and Pictures: The Bed Bugs Handbook: Practical Tips and Advice. (Source: www.bed-bugs-handbook.com/bedbug-life-cycle.html)

{ 1 comment }

Obafemi December 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

hi there!! hope you are all doing well, Of course I know that you are prboably experiencing the same thing that I, along with my fiancee, have been going through for a few months now. Actually about 2 months ago , not quite sure as I personally have not encountered bedbugs, although, if you ever leave Canada or Northern United states, you may just encounter some of the biggest, deadliest, ugliest, disease carrying insects in your life. Especially when you reach the sub tropic line, this is Perfect climate for the unwanted pests which are uncountable, are at their peak. I have described my experience as living in prboably 20 different places over my 40 + yrs, but the past 2 months have been totally inconceivable. My fiancee mentioned to me he had a couple unusual bite areas on his body. He is from the Caribbean Island, Dominican Republic. I am from upstate NY about 20 minutes to lake Ontario. When moving to SW FL, I had to really get adapted to the HUGE bugs that run rampant everywhere. The condition of most of the hotels and rapidly spreading to the apartment complexes in the Naples & FT, Myers areas. Travelers getting attacked at night at different hotels can be seen on the web google bedbugs Naples, Fl or Ft Myers, SW FL,My immediate post of this type is because I am currently going through the physical and psychological effects an infestation of bed bugs, will create on each individual in a different negative way. There will never be a positive effect on anyone, I want to clarify that first off. Lying in bed covered in 100 + degree heat you cover your body with thick clothing pull your socks over you pants you pull your sheet over your face and you put on insect repellent b4 you go to bed, I bet that sounds like a beautiful peaceful nights sleep right?? You have got to be kidding me. When anything reaches epidemic proportions and will harm so many people no matter your race, age, religious beliefs, income level etc. When w/ our government step in and provide the necessary prevention and treatment methods that we all need desperately believe me These little blood suckers can live a year without feeding at all. They lay at least 300 eggs at one time which is like once a week, You can’t most of the time see them ever or feel them ever when you bite, the two times I distinctly remember is waking up at 7am when the sun rose, I’m disabled trying to get out of bed my ankle stung , i looked down and blood was dripping down my ankle and foot, then found a couple of tiny things that i’m sure were bed bugs. I am not a crazy person I’m sane clean and caring. Please take precautions and reactions all it takes is for you to go to the mall, or a store like walmart, these little things will jump from the rack of shoes, or shirts right onto you. Or from someone’s purse or backpack onto your shoe,, on planes be super careful.. in hotels be ON top watch.. be careful avoid using those rolling carts that the hired help uses to assist carrying your belongings to your room .. bb love those things they are just waiting to get on your brand new designer luggage asap. REMEMBER THEY CAN LIVE 1 YEAR PROVEN FACT WITHOUT ANY FEEDING. LEAVING BEHIND 300 OR MORE BABIES THAT WILL BITE YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES AND DRIVE YOU INSANE.. sorry to write graphically , I did try to control my descriptions, as pictures and more adjectives could prove to be psychologically impairing the reader in to frightened paranoia..

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