Bed Bugs and Travel: How to spot the dangers

Bed bug or bedbug infestation concept as a magnification close up of  parasitic insect pests on a pillow and under the sheets as a hygiene symbol and metaphor for inspection and danger of bloodsucking parasites living inside a mattress.

Up until the last few years, bed bugs, which are parasitic insects that feed on the blood of people and animals, were considered to be a problem of the past. Recently, infestations have become an issue again, and the chances of taking them home with you after staying in a hotel or motel have increased significantly.

At Knox Pest Control, we know how frustrating infestations can be, so we’ve created this list to help ensure that you don’t end up with these pests in your house.

Check Online
Before booking a room, check online to see if the hotel or motel you want to stay in might have an infestation. Online reviews will often contain this information, and there are websites that allow you to put in the name and location of a hotel or motel and find out if they have an infestation.

Keep in mind that this information can be posted by anyone, so an online report of an infestation may or may not mean that there really is one. Additionally, most hotels and motels will respond quickly when an infestation has been reported, so problems are often eliminated quickly.

However, if you see that a particular chain or location has multiple reports of problems, it may be best to consider staying somewhere else.

Keep Your Luggage Safe
Once you arrive at your destination, your first step is probably to put your luggage down. When you do so, don’t just put it on the floor. The best place to store your luggage until you’re sure that there’s not a bed bug problem in your room is the tub in the bathroom.

The tub is hard for these pests to crawl up, and they would normally have no reason to anyway since it is far away from the bed. On the off-chance that these pests are in the bathroom, they’ll be easy to spot on a tile floor.

Inspect Your Room
Before you settle in, you should inspect your room for bugs. They are the same shape and about the same size as apple seeds, and they tend to be reddish in color. Along with the bugs themselves, you can check for the exoskeletons they leave behind after molting and their droppings, which are little reddish dots.

When you check your room, you should focus on the bed, including the folds and crevices of the mattress and linens, and the area around it. It may be a good idea to use a flashlight since it will allow you to see in dark spaces, and many hotel rooms have dim lighting.

You should pull back the covers and check the areas around the edges of the bed and bedding. It’s also a good idea to look behind the headboard and on the floor beside the bed. Generally speaking, bed bugs stay within 15 feet of the bed, so you can normally focus your inspection on this area.

Do Your Laundry Immediately
When you get home, the first thing that you should do is to wash clothes in hot water. Once clothing is clean, you should put it in the dryer for at least 30 minutes. These bugs are not able to live in temperatures above 122 degrees Fahrenheit, so running clothing through your dryer on its highest setting should kill them.

Before storing your luggage, you should inspect it to make sure that no bugs came home with you. Be sure that you check in all the storage compartments and folds in your luggage that bugs could potentially hide in.

Call In Professionals
Even if you’re on high alert, bed bug infestations can still occur. All it takes is one female bug to get past your defenses, and you can end up with an infestation in your home.

Our experienced staff can help to identify infestations and address the issue.

If you believe you have a bed bug infestation, call Knox Pest Control today.