Travelling tips: how to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you

Preventing bed bugs while travelling is probably the last thing you want to think about while on vacation. However, these pests can easily hide in your luggage, clothing and other personal items and accompany you on your journey back home.

Preparing for your trip

Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for your trip:

  • Don’t pack a pillow. This gives bedbugs another hiding place and a chance to come home with you.
  • Use hard-cased luggage. It’s harder for bugs to attach to rigid materials than to fabric.

Hotel checklist

Follow these tips to ensure a comfortable and safe hotel stay:

  • Before putting your luggage down, inspect the luggage stand. This includes where the straps are attached to the metal bars. Keep your items in your luggage on the stand instead of unpacking them in the closet and drawers.
  • Inspect the seals of drawers and doors.
  • Look inside the closet.
  • Inspect all soft surfaces, like couches and chairs.
  • Examine the sleeping area and bed. Lift each corner of the mattress and examine the creases and tufts of the mattress and box spring. Look behind the headboard and check the pillows, bed coverings and bed skirt, as well as the bed frame and legs.
  • Look behind baseboards, picture frames and cracked or torn wallpaper.

If you find any signs of bedbugs, such as eggs, feces, shed exoskeletons or living or dead bed bugs, notify the front desk immediately. Ask for another room or stay somewhere else.

What to do when you get home

Here are a few things you can do to prevent a bed bug infestation when you get home:

  • Wash all your clothing and fabric items in hot water. This will kill any bedbugs or eggs hiding in your clothes. Even if you didn’t wear an item during your trip, it’s still a good idea to wash it, just to be safe.
  • Put non-washable items, like shoes and handbags, in the clothes dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes. This will kill any bedbugs or eggs hiding in these items.
  • Vacuum your luggage and dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed garbage bag. If you use any brush or nozzle attachments, wash them as well. If you have a bagless vacuum cleaner, empty the dust collector into a garbage bag, throw away the bag and clean the dust collector thoroughly.

Bed bug treatments and control services

If you still bring bed bugs home with you despite your best efforts, don’t worry. Poulin’s Pest Control offers services that are effective in ridding your home of bed bugs. Contact us today for more information.

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