Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs This Holiday Season
Nobody wants to deal with a bed bug infestation, especially during the holiday season. Not only are bed bugs creepy, but they can also cause significant health problems like allergic reactions, anemia, and respiratory issues. Additionally, infestations can be incredibly difficult to get rid of, largely because these pests are tiny and hardy. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to prevent bed bugs from entering your home in the first place, even while traveling.
Here are our top tips to avoid bed bugs this holiday season:
1. Read hotel reviews before booking: Reviews are an incredibly useful resource when it comes to picking a clean and sanitary hotel. Search through reviews and look for anything relating to cleanliness or bed bugs. If you see anything concerning, consider booking with a different hotel. Even if other hotels are a little more expensive, they could save you from the stress and cost of a bed bug infestation.
2. Carefully inspect hotel or guest rooms: Before unpacking your bags or crawling into bed, be sure to inspect the room for any signs of bed bugs. Common signs include discarded skins or eggshells, reddish-brown spots on bedding, or a musty, sweet smell. Since bed bugs are tiny insects, take your time when inspecting new spaces.
3. Remember to check headrests and seats: When traveling, you come into contact with a lot of surfaces – from airplane headrests to taxi cab seats. Before sitting down, take a quick look to check any upholstered areas for signs of bed bugs. Though this step may seem excessive, bed bugs are great at hitchhiking onto clothing or fabric, so a little bit of caution could help you avoid carrying these pests around.
4. Consider investing in hard-sided luggage: Bed bugs often look for fabric that they can latch onto. Things like clothes, backpacks, and soft-sided luggage are all perfect vehicles for these pests. To prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride on your baggage, consider using hard-sided luggage.
5. Pack your clothes in airtight bags: Clothes are one of the most common ways that bed bugs spread from person to person. Keeping your clothes in airtight plastic bags is a great way to prevent bed bugs from nestling into your laundry. It may also be useful to bring separate bags for dirty clothes or anything you purchase on your vacation.
6. Vacuum luggage upon returning home: Even if you are using hard-sided luggage and plastic bags for clothes, be sure to vacuum your belongings immediately upon returning home. Bed bugs may still be able to latch onto the fabric inside of your luggage or around zippers, and just one or two bugs is all it takes for an infestation to begin. Vacuuming your belongings can help eliminate any stray insects.
7. Immediately wash your laundry with hot water: The first thing you should do after traveling or shopping for new clothes is to wash your laundry in hot water. Even if your clothes were in airtight bags, it is still important to carefully wash your belongings before putting them back in your home. Be sure to use water that is 188 F or hotter, as bed bug eggs may not die at lower temperatures.
Bed Bug Extermination in Portland OR
A bed bug infestation can be very stressful and difficult to get rid of. While these steps can help prevent an outbreak, sometimes bed bugs still manage to get into our homes. If you suspect you are facing a bed bug infestation, don’t hesitate to call an experienced exterminator like those at Antworks Pest Control. Our skilled technicians serve the greater Portland OR and Vancouver WA area, and we are dedicated to eradicating pests as safely and efficiently as possible. We can help you get rid of bed bugs quickly – just give us a call to get started!