5 Pest Control Myths Dispelled

How to Check for Bed Bugs When You Travel

With Summer quickly approaching, travel plans are likely on your mind and we want to make sure that those plans go off without a hitch - or itch. Whether your plans include a stay at a five-star hotel or a rundown motel, bed bugs can become unintended roommates so it’s always best to perform a quick check before you get settled in. Follow our step-by-step guide so you can sleep tight without letting those bed bugs bite.

Before Your Trip

While packing your bags, be sure to include large plastic bags, a small flashlight and rubber gloves for your inspection. These items will help you check for any signs of bed bugs without exposing yourself or belongings to unsightly items left behind by pests or guests. If you’d like to be extra careful, choose luggage with a hard shell to minimize hiding places for bugs that may attempt to hitch a ride and also wrap your belongings in plastic. While this may sound extreme, it’s worth the precaution to save yourself from days of itching that bed bugs will leave you with!

During Your Trip

When you arrive at your lodging, follow these next steps in order to both protect your items and look for any signs of current or past bed bugs. These pests range from 4 to 5mm so, while they’re easy to miss, they can be spotted by the naked eye with careful perusal.

As you enter the room, place your unopened luggage in the bathroom. This is the area cleaned most thoroughly and typically has the fewest hiding spots for pests.

Pull out your plastic bags, gloves and flashlight. If you forgot the flashlight, the one on your cell phone will work just fine. The plastic bag is in case you find bugs (or other items) that you need to show management.

Start with the bed by first inspecting the top layer for small black or rust-colored stains, eggs and/or shredded skins. Peel back each layer and look closely from top to bottom for these signs. Smeared stains could possibly be from squashed bugs.

After looking through the blankets and sheets, remove the fitted sheet and check the mattress thoroughly including the sides.

Finally, inspect any other furniture and carpeting in the room for the same signs. 

If you found any suspicious signs of bed bugs, place them in the plastic bag or take pictures to show the manager. Request a new room or cancel your reservation and find a new hotel. However, keep in mind that bed bugs are hitchhikers and just because they’re in one room doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in another or that they won’t hitch a ride with you!

After Your Trip

When you return home, take your luggage directly to your laundry room and immediately wash your clothing and, if possible, your luggage itself. Bed bugs are accomplished travelers and love to hop a ride to see new places. Don’t let your home become their new adventure.

Traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures and while it can sometimes bring you into contact with not-so-pleasant fellow travelers, it’s well worth the risk especially when you can minimize it by taking these small steps of precaution. Happy travels!

No matter what your pest control needs may be, Safety First Pest Control can get it taken care of. Contact us today if you’re experiencing pesky pest problems. We are a family-owned and operated business that has been servicing Mobile and Baldwin Counties since 1999! It is our goal to provide you excellent service. You can reach us at (251) 990-0047.  

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