If you plan on traveling for the holiday season, make sure you take precautions to protect yourself from bringing home unwanted guests in the form of bed bugs. Think we’re kidding? Even the department of Housing & Urban Development warns travelers to keep their luggage clean while traveling to avoid this problem.
Bed bug infestations have been much more common in recent years and are strongly associated with travel because any time you travel to another state or country, you risk being infected with bed bugs.
Dugas Pest Control has seen more cases of bed bug infestations in recent years, so we encourage all Louisiana residents to execute extra safety measures this holiday season.
Below are smart tips to protect you and your family.
- If you’re staying at a hotel, check online to see if the hotel has ever had bed bug problems. People are never hesitant to post about bad experiences, so go that extra step and read the online reviews before you book.
- Seal all of your belongings. Use individual gallon bags to store everything from socks to gloves to jewelry. Make sure all bags are sealed, as bed bugs can get in from the smallest cracks.
- Steer clear of soft, dark-colored bags. First, soft bags have pockets and folds where bed bugs can hide. Second, the dark color allows them to blend in with the bag. Instead, aim for light-colored bags and hard suitcases – if you can find them – that will make it less likely for bed bugs to hide.
- At your hotel, inspect your room. Place your luggage in the bathroom first where bed bugs are not likely to be. Then, pull up the mattress, inside couches and chairs, behind picture frames and around electrical outlets for signs of an infestation. Look for spots of blood or apple-seed looking bugs.
- Keep your luggage on luggage racks instead of on the floor and cover with plastic bags or a tarp.
- When you arrive home, wash all of your clothes on HOT water and place them in the dryer. Clothes that need to be dry-cleaned should be stored in a separate, sealed plastic bag. You can also steam your clothes to kill any potential bugs.
The best attitude to have is a proactive one. Bed bugs are not pests that you can get rid of on your own. Don’t chance it this holiday season. Take these extra steps to ensure you come home with your family, new presents, full stomachs and nothing else.