When traveling this holiday season, be careful not to pick up the dreaded hitchhikers…bed bugs.
Bed bugs can be found in homes, hotels, trains, buses, anywhere that people are traveling. Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that make their home in the seams of mattresses, cushions, pillows, and other linens. They spread from place to place by getting into purses, suitcases, or other belongings that people are traveling with.
There are ways to protect yourself from bed bugs:
(See bed bug ID)
Do not put any furniture on the floor, instead use luggage racks or the bathroom. It’s important to check mattress seams when you arrive at a home or hotel. You can do this easily by pulling back the sheets and mattress pad and checking along the seams for bed bug casings. Bed bugs are small, flat, and a reddish-brown color. Since they are nocturnal, you may not see actual bed bugs but you can see the casings or the rusty colored spots that they leave behind. If you do find signs of bed bugs, immediately notify the hotel or the homeowner so that different sleeping arrangements can be made.
Whether you’ve seen bed bugs or not, when returning home, make sure to inspect your luggage before bringing it into your home. You can do this by checking the seams of the bags and by placing all of your clothes and luggage in the dryer on the hottest setting. This will kill any bugs that may have found their way home with you.
Bed bug infestations can be difficult to treat. It is highly recommended that a trained professional who specializes in bed bugs perform bed bug removal treatments.