Bed bugs will travel during the holidays. But, how do bed bugs travel? They travel with people (who don’t know they have bed bugs) to any place they visit. The hop out of their suitcases at night, feed on the sleepers and then hunker down around the bed. If this is a lodging room, the bed bugs will just stay in their hiding spot until the next unsuspecting guest sleeps there. If their nocturnal bites go unnoticed, the bed bugs may hitch a ride home with you! And the last thing you want to do anything is to bring bed bugs home.
A recent article from Norfolk explains how bed bugs will travel and infestations are on the rise, and spreading during the holidays. Bed bugs spread unknowingly for so many people. READ THE ARTICLE
Check Your Sleeping Area
Knowing that bed bugs will travel is helpful whether you are in a hotel or the home of a friend or relative. You will want to look for black spots (fecal stains), small, white clusters that look like miniature rice (which are the bed bug eggs), or even for the bed bugs themselves. You will want to strip the bed down, exposing underneath mattress covers and dust ruffles.
The bed bugs are small and are reddish brown in color. The do not stay out of their nesting space for very long, only for their blood meal, which makes detection very challenging. READ MORE The nymphs or newly hatched bed bugs are translucent in color to start. As they begin feeding on human hosts, the bed bugs turn bright red and then darker as they age. The nymphs are very, very tiny and be difficult to see. The bed bugs molt five times in their life span, each time shedding a yellowish exoskeleton. These are also very clear signs of a bed bug infestation.
In hotels where the sheets are changed frequently, it may be difficult to find these signs on the top sheets and blankets. You will definitely want to check the box springs as the bed bugs like to burrow under the staples where the mesh is attached to the underside of the structure. Also, check the wooden structures on the bed and nightstands, particularly small areas such as the screw holes. Most bed bugs love to nestle down in tight spaces and little cracks and crevices.
We have even found bed bug infestations in the bed frames, in areas where it is impossible to see unless you literally unscrew the entire bed frame. So just because you don’t see the bed bugs, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. That is why it is so important to keep all personal items as far away from the bed as possible.
Dressers and Desks
While we rarely see bed bugs in the dressers or desk areas of hotels, it may be a good idea to check those areas as well before unpacking any of your personal items in them. You do not want to find bed bugs have made a home in your belongings.
Headboards and Pictures
If there is a headboard, you will want to look to see if you see any fecal staining around the edges. It is also a good idea to check around pictures that are hanging over the headboard as well. You will want to check any cracks and crevices in these items. We have found bed bugs on the back of picture frames that were hung directly over the headboards in some hotels. It is in close proximity to where someone sleeps so unfortunately it is a logical place for them to hide.
If you wake up with unexplained bites, please contact the hotel management so they can take get to catching bed bugs before the infestation can spread to other rooms in the establishment. It is amazing how quickly bed bugs spread if left unchecked.
Keep Luggage off the Bed – Bed Bugs Like to Hop in for a Ride Home
The first thing many people do is drop their luggage right onto the bed. This is not a good idea. You will want to keep your luggage and personal items as far from the bed as possible. In a hotel room, you may want to keep your luggage in the bathtub or on the floor in the bathroom. Keeping luggage near the door of your hotel room is a great option as well. Bed bugs tend to stay within 6 feet of their feeding area (usually the bed) so this is the area you want to avoid placing any personal items.
You will also want to keep clothing items off of the bed as well. Worn clothes emit a low level of carbon dioxide and bed bugs will travel to them, crawling into them, thinking they may be discovering their next meal. Then, unsuspecting folks scoop up their clothes when they pack to leave and place them into their luggage, not knowing they may be carrying extra guest back to their homes, and so bed bugs spread.
Bed Bug Treatment – Treat with Heat!
If you have found that bed bugs spread during the holidays and you have brought them home, give us a call. You need to consult a professional pest control company that specializes in bed bug remediation. If left untreated, the bed bugs will continue breeding and spreading until you feel as if you have lost the battle.
Thermal treatments are the best way to eradicate bed bugs safely and effectively from your home. There is no need to use harsh chemicals that don’t even kill the eggs, thus requiring several additional treatments. READ MORE Heat of greater than 120° F kills all stages of the life cycle of a bed bug. And no one wants to be exposed to harsh chemical needlessly. Oftentimes, the chemicals don’t kill the bugs, but rather cause them to relocate to other areas of the home or hotel, thus spreading the infestation.
We have heaters for rent if you are the DIY type, and we will make sure you are trained to know what to do to combat these pests. This is perfect if you only need to treat one room in your home. We also offer full-service heat treatments as well. We can come to you and treat large areas efficiently with our propane heater system.