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Traveling This Winter? Don’t Bring Bed Bugs Home!

There is no worse souvenir to bring home from vacation than bed bugs! Traveling is supposed to be fun and rejuvenating, a time to set aside everyday stresses and immerse yourself in new experiences. No one wants that new experience to involve bloodsucking tiny bugs that follow you home.

But don’t cancel your vacation plans just yet. Learn how to be a smart traveler and reduce your chances of bringing home these unwanted souvenirs.

Pre-Vacation Tips

  • Consider using hard-shell suitcases. Fabric suitcases allow bed bugs to hop on board easier. But if you need a soft suitcase, make it a light color so you can more easily spot these nasty critters.
  • Pack plastic bags of varying sizes so you can place clothes, toiletry bags, and purses inside them both in the hotel and on the trip home.
  • Check The Bed Bug Registryto make sure your hotel has not had a recent bed bug incident.

During Vacation Tips

  • When you enter your hotel room, place your luggage in the bathroom.
  • Inspect your room thoroughly by pulling off the blanket, looking at the sheets, the mattress, behind the headboard, and in the crevices of any upholstered furniture in the room. You are looking for tiny bed bugs, small brown or red spots on the sheets, brown smudges from squished bed bugs, small exoskeletons they leave behind when they grow, and tiny broken eggshells. Use the flashlight on your phone to get a good look into crevices.
  • Inspect the luggage rack. If there are no signs of bed bugs there, then that is where you should keep your luggage. If you have more than one suitcase, use the top of the dresser and the desk too. Never put your luggage on the bed.
  • When preparing to leave, inspect your bags before packing your belongings in them. Place all or as much as you can in the plastic bags you brought and seal them before putting them in your suitcase.

Post-Vacation Tips

  • Open your suitcases outdoors or in the garage and place clothes directly into your washing machine from the plastic bags. Wash all clothing (even those unworn) in hot water. Even after washing, they may not be dead. Place clothes in a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes. The heat from the dryer should kill them.
  • Place your suitcases in a large plastic bag that you tightly seal.
  • If you have things you cannot launder in hot water, you can place them in the freezer.

Treating Bed Bugs

A bed bug infestation after traveling can happen to anyone regardless of whether you stayed in a hostel or five-star hotel. Once you realize you have bed bugs, you need to act quickly. Bed bugs are hard pests to remove and no DIY solution is worth the physical and mental anguish.

Call a professional pest control company such as Ecola. Call Ecola at 800-471-BUGS (2847) so a trained technician can perform a free inspection and recommend a customized treatment plan.

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