Wednesday, November 19, 2014
During the holidays there is a good chance you're going to do some traveling. There is also a good chance bed bugs are going to travel with you. Since their near extinction in the 1950s, because of new and experimental pesticides, bed bugs have returned to their former glory. It is so bad that the City Council of Chicago passed an ordinance in July, 2013 requiring the condo association to have a formal management plan in place for the detection, inspection and treatment of bed bugs. You know bed bugs are bad when a city the size of Chicago is willing to risk the loss of a major source of employment and revenue to ensure these bugs are properly dealt with.
Now you may not be traveling to the windy city, but with bed bugs being reported all across the country, it's better to be safe than infested. Follow these simple bed bug tips to keep bed bugs from returning home with you.
Check your lodging before you travel. Before you head off to your hotel, motel, resort, or five-star accommodations, check the bedbugregistry.com to see if anyone has reported a bed bug incident in or near the place you intend to stay. Visitors to the site share their horror stories in the hopes that others will not experience the same fate. Their misfortune could save you and your family from walking into a nightmare.
Inspect your room before bringing bags in.
It is always a good idea to check your room before you bring your bags, or your family, in. If you must bring your bags up, put them in the bathroom on the tiled floor. Bed bugs prefer the soft and cozy areas of a room.
Roll down the covers and check for bugs. They'll look like little brown seeds, unless they have eaten recently. A full bed bug looks like a tick.
Check sheets for tiny, brown blood stains. Bed bugs drip blood when they eat. This doesn't prove that your room has bed bugs, but it can be a warning sign that bugs have been in the building.
Inspect the corners and seams of mattresses and boxsprings. If you see black residue, it could be the excrement of bed bugs. Have hotel management take a look.
Use a flashlight to check the backboard and any upholstery in the room. Bed bugs don't always stay in the bed. They can be found on furniture and even in lamps and wall outlets.
Protect yourself during your stay. Make sure to keep your ear to the ground. If you hear of a bed bug problem, consider new accommodations. If your inspection showed no signs of bed bug activity, it should be safe to put your clothes in the dresser drawers, but it's better to hang them if you can. And don't leave any clothes laying on the floor. Some people even put their luggage in plastic bags. If you feel this is a needed precaution, by all means do it. It will keep the bed bugs from burrowing into the seams of your luggage.
Inspect your bags before returning home. When you're ready to leave, use your flashlight to check your bags again. Make sure no bugs are trying to hitchhike home.
Purge your clothes when you get home. It is always a good idea to wash and dry your clothes on the hottest temperature when you get home from a trip. This will kill any stowaways and any eggs that might have been left in your clothing.