Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite!

The time for holiday travel is quickly approaching. The panic, the shopping, and the cooking are all becoming a reality once again and you don’t have time for much else. The last thing you need to add to your ever growing holiday to-do list is a bed bug infestation. The best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge to be ahead of the game and use the proven tricks below when returning from your travels!

Things to Know:

  • Bed bugs are tricky. They are elusive and great at hiding during the day.
  • They have a method to their madness. Their bites leave behind patterns and clusters. While disturbing, this helps identify an infestation.
  • Bed bugs are commonly misidentified pests. They are often mistaken for fleas or cockroaches.
  • They can live for several months without a meal; on top of that, they can survive freezing temperatures of up to -122 degrees.
  • Bed bugs can be found in hotels, homes, schools, offices, retail stores, and even public transportation. Their favorite hiding places are baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and the crevices of furniture.

When travelling back home from your holiday visits, leave suitcases in a garage or driveway and take clothing straight to the laundry room to be washed in warm water. This is especially important for college students coming home for winter break.
Bed bug infestations are very serious and require a thorough inspection and intense treatment. If you suspect that you have an issue with bed bugs, call a licensed bed bug specialist immediately.

What Could Come Home with your Summer Camper?

What Could Come Home with your Summer Camper?

As school winds down, your summer camp prep is ramping up. As you go through lists and double check that you have everything your kiddos will need to have the best summer, take precautions to make sure they don’t bring home any stowaways. Read below for ideas on how to prevent the two most common camp nuisances: lice and bed bugs.
Lice spread by direct contact with hair of an infested person. Be sure to remind children away at camp to not share personal items such as hats, brushes, and combs.

  • Be informed; ask if there have been lice breakouts in the past.
  • Make sure there is a lice control policy in place at the camp.
  • The infestation needs to be treated quickly and aggressively.
  • Keep an open line of communication with camp directors.

Cabins and other camper belongings are the perfect hiding and breeding sites for bed bugs. They travel in the belongings of other campers and make their way to your home in the luggage of your camper.

  • Inquire if there have been past bed bug infestations and when the last time the camp invested in new mattresses.
  • Make sure to properly inspect your child’s bedding when dropping them off at camp.
  • Use a plastic trash bag to store luggage during the duration of camp. This will make it harder for the bed bugs to hitch a ride back to your home.
  • Once back home, leave luggage in the garage or in the driveway. Take out all the clothing and immediately take to the washer to be washed with hot water. Once done, make sure to dry the clothing on a high heat setting because bed bugs cannot survive at temperatures above 122 degrees. Vacuum the suitcase before putting it away.

We hope these tips benefit you and your camper this summer! If you suspect that you have a lice or bed bug infestation, call a pest control company to schedule an inspection as soon as possible.

5 Ways to Avoid Bed Bugs For The Holidays

5 Ways to Avoid Bed Bugs For The Holidays

For many of us, the holiday season is a time of joy. It is also a time for travel as we look forward to spending time with family and friends. One thing that can damper our holiday season is dealing with unwanted visitors – no, not that cranky Scrooge of a relative – but bed bugs! Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers, tagging along with unsuspecting travelers on their clothes and luggage. As we enter the biggest travel season of the year, check out these tips for preventing bed bugs and preserving your holiday cheer.

1. Prepare For Your Guests

When you have guests staying with you, make sure you are prepared for the possibility of bed bugs being brought in with them. Don’t put your guests’ coats and bags on the bed. Instead, clean out a closet and use it to store their belongings. If you have to put their items on the bed, lay a sheet down first. It can be cleaned later. Place a plastic mat by the door for them to place their shoes on. If possible, provide luggage racks for them to use to store their belongings on. Use a bed bug mattress cover on any beds your guests will be using. If your guests will be sleeping on the couch, lay a sheet down over it first.

2. Clean Up After They Leave

Once your guests leave, make sure to go behind anywhere they kept coats or luggage and clean. Vacuum closets where luggage and coats were kept. Vacuum the beds and couches where they slept. Seal the vacuum bags immediately and dispose of them outside. If you used sheets under luggage or on your couches, wash them in hot water and dry them on high heat. Wash the plastic mat you used for their shoes with hot, soapy water.

3. Be On The Lookout

Whether you have guests who just left or you are the guest yourself, check your surroundings for signs of bed bugs. Inspect the mattress, box springs, and  headboard, especially around edges and seams. Make sure to check couch cushions and chairs, as well. The most common sign of bed bugs is small, rust colored spots. Avoid using dresser drawers if possible. When you arrive at your destination, especially if you have been in a heavily populated area (subway, bus, airport, etc) check your shoes, jackets, hats, and luggage immediately. Be sure to check around zippers and seams. If you spot bed bugs, remove the clothing immediately and wash in hot water and dry on high heat. Vacuum luggage and seal and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately. If you are going to be a guest at a hotel or other lodging accommodation, you can also check the Bed Bug Registry, which is a free user-submitted database of bed bug reports across the US and Canada.

4. Don’t Wait Around

Once you arrive home from your travels, unpack your luggage and change your clothes immediately. Wash everything in hot water and dry on high heat. The heat of the water and air from the dryer will kill any bed bugs that may be lingering around. Once unpacked, vacuum or steam your luggage and seal it in plastic bags or containers. Store your luggage outside the home (in a garage, shed, etc) until you need to use them again.

5. Call The Pros

Bed bugs are resilient and can be extremely difficult to get rid of. If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, call a pest control professional who can come in and provide you with a thorough evaluation and comprehensive treatment plan.

Prepare for Holiday Travel with these Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Prepare for Holiday Travel with these Bed Bug Prevention Tips

While many of us are planning vacations or trips to visit family for the upcoming holiday season, bed bugs are planning their vacation too, as unwanted guests that hitchhike their way into your home from hotel rooms, rented houses & condos, families’ houses, and college dorms. So what can you do to minimize your risk? Follow these bed bug prevention tips:

Inspect your accommodations. Check your hotel room or rental for signs of bed bugs before bringing your luggage in. From high end hotels to small B&Bs or rental homes, any property has the potential to be bed bug infested – so it’s important to check every type of accommodation. Bed bugs can be found in furniture (usually cracks & crevices), including beds, end tables, sofas & chairs, dressers, etc. Be especially sure to check around mattress corners, looking for evidence of bed bugs – usually distinguished by very small, dark-colored stains. Another indication of bed bugs is skin shells that have been shed during their growth phases.

If you suspect that your room has bed bugs, ask to be moved or consider another hotel or rental.

Even if you find no traces of bed bugs, be careful when unpacking your clothing. Use provided luggage racks rather than placing suitcases on the beds or furniture or thoroughly inspect dressers before placing clothing in drawers.

Don’t unpack when you return home. Resist the urge to bring your luggage inside your home when returning from a trip. Instead, unpack outside of your home, wash all clothing right away and be sure to run everything through a high-heat dryer cycle (bed bugs cannot withstand high temperatures). Then store suitcases outside if possible, like in your garage or a storage closet. Another option, if you don’t have anywhere to keep luggage outside your home, is to seal suitcases in large, plastic storage bags before bringing inside.

If you’re experiencing bed bug bites or seeing evidence of bed bugs, contact a professional bed bug control company to access the situation. DIY bed bug control is not recommended; an exterminator can determine the best treatment plan and give you recommendations to prevent future infestations.

Bed Bug Awareness Week

Bed Bug Awareness Week

This week (April 20-26) is Bed Bug Awareness Week.  It’s a week to spread awareness about bed bugs and what people can do to prevent bed bug infestations.

It’s no secret that bed bugs are one of the hardest pests to control, even by pest professionals.  They are easily transported by hiding in handbags, luggage, etc., are quick to reproduce, and can be difficult to see with the naked eye.  Even though they can be difficult to treat, rest assured, that they can be treated by a knowledgeable, highly trained pest control professional.

Throughout the next few months people will begin to travel more and it is important that people are educated and aware of the steps to take to prevent bed bugs.  This is where Bed Bug Awareness Week and Northwest Exterminating come in to help!

What can you do to prevent bed bugs?

  • Be aware of what bed bugs look like (here).
  • When traveling, do not put luggage on the bed or on the floor.  Use a luggage rack.
  • Pull back the corner of the mattress cover to check mattress seams for signs of bed bugs.
  • Check sheets and pillows for signs of bed bugs.
  • When returning home, leave luggage outside and wash all clothes in hot water.
  • Contact a pest professional if you think you may have a bed bug infestation in your home.  A highly trained professional will be able to quickly identify the problem and develop a customized solution for your infestation.

For more tips on how to prevent bed bugs visit our past blogs for helpful tips:

How to Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs on Spring Break
The 411 on Bed Bugs
The Dreaded Hitchhikers…The Bed Bugs

 

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