Avoiding bed bugs while traveling

With the summer travel season in full swing, thousands of adventure seeking families will be hitting the road to escape the heat along San Diego’s beaches, take in the majesty of the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or ride the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

Wherever your summer vacation plans take you don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and snacks for the car, and be on alert for fellow “vacationers” who not only want to jump ahead in line but jump into your luggage – bed bugs!

Like a vacationer in search of the elusive poolside chaise lounge with an umbrella, getting an accurate fix on where bed bugs hide out and making a proper identification can be a challenge.

Bed bugs are adept at hiding in cracks and crevices, and since they’re so small it’s very difficult to see them with the naked eye. For example, did you know that over 80% of bedbug infestations are found in the mattress or box spring?  That means nearly 20% of the time bed bugs aren’t just found in beds.

Did you know there are 220 million olfactory receptors in a canine nose to sniff out bed bugs and virtually anything else under the sun?  Tracking bed bugs by smell through certified canine bed bug inspectors has proven to be the most accurate means of detection and that is why Western Exterminator is glad to have on our team some of the industry’s finest tail-wagging bed bug inspectors!

I checked with Honey, one of our canine inspectors extraordinaire and her handler, Lauren Small, to find out where Honey’s nose has been pointed lately in search of bed bugs.

They shared a list of “Honey’s Top Six Bed Bug Hiding Spots” where these highly mobile and disgusting blood-sucking pests can be found in homes and hotel rooms.  Check out these areas carefully before you lay your head on the pillow:

  1. Along the edge ribbing or beneath buttons of mattresses.
  2. Between the mattress and box spring or in the folds of the dust ruffle.
  3. Along the support frame or in the headboard of the bed.
  4. In the upholstery and frames of furniture.
  5. In wall sockets and light switches.
  6. Beneath decorator pillows or behind wall hangings.

Guarding Against Bed Bugs On The Road

Honey also had some specific thoughts on checking out hotel rooms, and how best to guard from bringing those blood-sucking pests home.  Here are her “Six Steps to Protecting Your Luggage from Bed Bugs”:

  1. Pack your clothes in sealable, clear plastic bags.
  2. When you check into your hotel room pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress and box spring for signs of possible a bed bug infestation such as dark fecal spots and dried blood spots.
  3. Do not put your suitcase on the bed or leave it on the floor or chairs – use the luggage rack or the bathtub (no kidding!).
  4. Keep your clothes and shoes in sealed storage bags in your suitcase or drawer. Do the same for dirty laundry.
  5. When you get home, unpack your luggage outdoors or in the garage if possible, and vacuum the inside and outside before entering your home or apartment.
  6. Wash and dry your travel clothing at over 140 degrees Fahrenheit or have your clothing dry cleaned.

golden-colored bed bugIt takes a true bed bug specialist like Honey and her colleagues at Western Exterminator to properly identify, design and implement a control program for bed bugs. Following a thorough inspection of your home or facility, we can recommend treatment options that will eliminate bed bugs and give you peace of mind.

Do you have a question on how to protect your family or hotel guests from bed bugs, or any other questions about pests? If so, send me an e-mail at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you right away with the information you are looking for.

Until next time, thanks for making Western Exterminator Company “The Final Word in Pest Control®”

Have a pest free day!

Mr. Little

He’s represented Western for nearly a century. But he’s no old fogey. Follow Mr. Little’s blog for pest tips and facts!

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