Bed bugs are probably one of the most psychologically disturbing pest infestations you can have. You don’t normally see them, and they feed on you when you’re asleep. There is also a social stigma associated to having Bed Bugs, as they are seen as living in unclean spaces.
In fact, bed bugs can infest any living space – even the nicest hotel. Based on powerpestcontrol, they mainly spread in one simple way: by hitching a ride with people as they travel.
How do you know if you have bed bugs?
Chances are, you’ll never see a bed bug if you have an infestation. You’ll most likely only see their effects. The most common of these are tiny red bites on your upper body, especially the neck and arms. You might also see dark spots where they have been squished on your mattress, or the remnants of their skin and other waste.
Bed bugs look like tiny dark brown wingless insects, similar in shape to a cockroach but flatter and much smaller – about the size of a small apple seed. They are most active at night, which is why you’ll rarely see them, but they can also feed during the day. They feed on human blood, which can leave itchy red marks that can sometimes cause allergic reactions.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectularius.jpg
Unlike other pests, bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirt, food scraps or poor living conditions. All they need are people and a place to hide. They don’t spread by latching onto living things like humans or pets, they just hide in containers, luggage or furniture.
Dealing with a bed bug infestation can be traumatizing and definitely warrants the intervention of professionals. However, you can effectively take steps to prevent bed bugs from entering your home with the following tips.
Stay out of places that are known to have had bed bugs
Your first line of defense against bed bugs is information. Before you book a hotel, read reviews to find out if they ever had any issues with bed bugs. If they did, find out how and when they dealt with them, and plan your trip accordingly. A useful site for this purpose is Bed Bug Registry.
Inspect your hotel room
Bed bugs don’t only hide around beds (although that’s an obvious place to start looking for them). They can travel a several feet to get to you while you sleep, so inspect the room thoroughly if you suspect there may be bed bugs around. They can be hiding behind décor such as paintings, inside drawers, and so on.
Here are some of the most common areas bed bugs like to hide in.
- Carpets, rugs, drapes or curtains
- Behind hanging wall art
- Corners, cracks or crevices in woodwork
- Electrical outlets
If you don’t see anything after a thorough check, you should be fine. However, if you do notice any bed bugs or the waste they leave behind (dark spots on mattresses, etc.) make sure you alert the hotel staff so they can act right away. Request a new room or just find another hotel.
Store your personal items in a safe place
Even if you haven’t found anything after your inspection, it doesn’t guarantee the room is bed bug-free. If you need to deal with a bed bug infested room and can’t leave immediately for whatever reason, or you just want to be extra careful, mind where you store your luggage – that’s where they will hide and come back home with you. Don’t leave it on or around the bed or on furniture and avoid rugs and carpets. Try and store it on a tiled floor (such as in the bathroom).
When your bags are not in use – make sure they are closed and sealed as tightly as possible!
Wrap your bags if needed
Sealing your bags and clothing with plastic or garbage bags is a good extra defense against bed bugs. They won’t be able to get in your luggage and hide if it’s contained within a plastic bag.
Don’t use dressers
It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid using dressers in any hotel. There’s no way for you to know who has stayed in that room before you, so take precaution no matter how nice the hotel may seem. Keep your clothes in your luggage if you can, or make sure it’s stored away from places bed bugs could hide in.
Be careful when repacking
When you’re repacking your luggage, inspect any items that were not kept inside a closed bag. If you have access to a laundry facility or dry-cleaning service, you should wash as many articles of clothing as possible.
Hire a professional
Even if you take the best precautions when traveling, there’s no guarantee you’ll keep bed bugs out of your home forever. If you happen to notice a bed bug infestation in your home, you need to call a professional pest control expert like Power Pest Control immediately. They have the skills, knowledge and experience to handle a bed bug infestation effectively and discreetly so you can quickly get back to your normal life.