With spring on the horizon, many of us are starting to think about that annual family vacation. Maybe you’ll be staying at a beachside condo, or perhaps your family will hold up in a hotel suite to enjoy a little rest and relaxation at some far-flung locale. Either way, there’s one thing for certain: The last thing you want is to bring bed bugs home.
Serious bed bug infestations can happen to anyone. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent taking home the absolute worst type of souvenir. Bed bugs are pervasive. Bed bugs bite. Best to avoid them altogether.
How? You’ve got to call on your inner private investigator because you’re gonna need to do an inspection. This process will take nothing more than a flashlight (hello, cell phone light!), a credit card, and a bit of your time.
First, prepare for the worst by making sure that your suitcase and other bags are placed on a luggage rack or in the bathtub of your condo/hotel room to protect yourself from the pests.
Now you’re going to have to get to work on your inspection, and the first stop is the bedsheets. You will need to strip the bed and place the sheets flat on the ground, inspecting them closely with a flashlight. A telltale sign of a possible bed bug infestation? Small copper stains on sheets. Look also for the eggs and bugs themselves, and remember that they like cramped spaces, creeping in zippers, seams, and edges. Remember, too, to check both sides of both sheets, as well as the inside and outside of the pillowcases and any decorative pillows that might be placed on the bed or in the bedroom.
Now it’s time to turn your attention to the mattress itself. This is also where your credit card comes in. You will want to carefully inspect the edges and corners of the mattress, scraping your credit cards around edges and lifting to observe any lurking bed bugs. Remember that bed bugs are adept at hiding, so you will need to lift the mattress at the least, and flip it all the way over at most to ensure there is no infestation.
Once you’ve completed your inspection of the mattress and bedding, it’s time to take a look at some other places where bed bug infestations fester like the headboard, the curtains, and other upholstered furniture. We even recommend you check the many crevices inherent to nightstands, as well as behind the bed and along the walls near furniture.
Even if you see no signs of a bed bug infestation, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Do this by taking a careful look at your belongings when you leave the hotel or vacation rental. And we will share this pro tip: Heat kills bed bugs, so go ahead and toss your clothes and other washable items in the dryer to ensure you are pest free when you get home.
And sadly, despite our most diligent efforts, bed bugs can happen to the best of us. If you believe you’ve brought bed bugs home with you, give 603 Pest Control a call so we can help.