Bed Bugs: Don't Bring Them Home

Bed bugs in your bed?

You may unknowingly bring bed bugs home from your travels. Unless you want to share your bed or house with them....know their ploy and stop the bug right there.
You may unknowingly bring bed bugs home from your travels. Unless you want to share your bed or house with them....know their ploy and stop the bug right there. | Source

Traveling for leisure and business is quite a part of life. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1.5 billion people travel each year. Crossing continents, time zones or even state lines carry some inherent problems. While custom officers are particular about you bringing home certain foods and plants, they may not be aware that you’re carrying more than your luggage home. Are you unknowingly giving a ride to some happy hitchhikers? Are there little critters hitching a ride on your suitcases or clothes, waiting to launch a pest infestation in your home? We’re talking bed bugs—there has been a recent resurgence of these blood-sucking annoying parasites according the Centers for Disease Control. The problem is worldwide due to an increase in air travel, changes in pest control strategy and pesticide resistance. Once the uninvited guests enter your home, getting rid of them can be costly and emotionally stressful since efforts to eradicate them may not be immediately successful.

Source

Bed bugs are small, like little seeds, measuring anywhere from 5 to 9 millimeters long (1/4” to 3/8”). Usually red brown, these critters hide in all kinds of premises from hotels to theaters to dormitories. These pesky pests feed off blood of humans and animals and they thrive where people congregate. Their bites leave tiny red bumps that are sometimes itchy. Some people may develop strong allergic reactions. They travel well and often inconspicuously on personal belongings and bringing bed bugs home from your travels is one possibility you want to avoid at all cost. Read on for some effective preventive measures.

Not a pretty sight? Be circumpect and inspect.
Not a pretty sight? Be circumpect and inspect. | Source
  • · Do Your Homework

Bed bugs don’t discriminate—they can be found in cheap or expensive hotels. How do you know if the hotel you intending to stay in is bed-bug free? Thanks to sites like TripAdvisor, The Bedbug Registry and Bedbugger.com, you can. Check the bed bug status of the hotel—has there been any bed bug complaint? Although online research is helpful, a bed bug free report doesn’t necessarily mean the hotel is pest-free. Some infestations go unreported, which is why you should never skip the next precaution.

  • · Inspect Your Hotel Room

Once you’re assigned a room, do some sleuth work. You can never be too careful. Arm yourself with a flashlight if possible and do some spot checking. Inspect the mattress, remove sheets and look at the seams, check headboard, side tables, sofa, closet and any built-in furniture. Beg bugs are also known to hide in cracks and crevices as well. Live bugs are easier to spot—they are the size of lentil and though they can’t fly, they are quick crawlers, adept at hiding. Tiny drops of blood may indicate that the bed bugs are active and have been feasting on human blood. Fecal droppings resemble tiny pencil dots. If your sleuth work turns out positive, seek alternative lodging.


How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Spreading

  • · Keep Bed Bugs Away

Bed bugs can be sneaky. They latch onto belongings, luggage and clothing included. Resist the tendency to lay your suitcase on the bed and start unpacking your clothes once you get to the hotel room. Instead, put your suitcase on the luggage stand (be sure to inspect it first). Expert sources also suggest putting your suitcase on the bathroom floor since bed bugs don’t normally thrive in the non-carpeted areas. Remove clothing or personal items such as toiletry bags or cosmetic pouches only when you’re using them. Before putting any item away in the suitcase, inspect it first. Always keep your suitcase closed when not in use. You want to give the bed bugs zero opportunity to contaminate your belongings.

  • · Bag Used Clothing

Ziploc bags or any sealed plastic bags can come in handy when implementing your own pest control. Bag any item of clothing that may come into contact with bed bugs. That include clothes you wear while in the hotel room, especially pajamas. Put them in a sealed plastic bag to isolate them from other items in your suitcase.

  • · Do Your Laundry

High temperature is one way to zap these bed bugs. When you get home from your trip, make sure your suitcase is not plopped on carpeted areas of your house—these crawlies are good at exploring. Carry the suitcase directly to the laundry room instead. Wash and dry all your dirty laundry, a great way to annihilate any bed bugs. The University of Maryland Medical Center advises that you set the washer and dryer for the hottest setting your fabric can withstand. If you’ve clean clothes, you may want to take extra precaution and run them through the drier. If you suspect your suitcase is contaminated, wash it with soapy hot water (the hotter the better) and brush out the seams and folds. Some experts also suggest using insect spray like Deet to knock out them these pesky freeloaders.

Some of these measures may seem a bit too extreme but you can’t take chances when it comes to pests. They are difficult to get rid off once they have established a foothold but why let them? Travel wisely and you don’t have to let the bed bugs bite.


Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 29 comments

Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Haven't run into bedbugs during my travels. I certainly hope not, but I'm bookmarking this as a very useful reminder. Ewwwww. Bedbugs aren't picky when it comes to their targets. Voted up and everything else.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

yup, this has been a recent scare all over the hotels and they keep reminding folks about various precautions...thanks for the reminder. informative hub!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Arlene, me neither but as you said, it's better to be cautious. Thanks for dropping by to comment. You have a great day.


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

I've never found bedbugs in a hotel room, but I had them in my old apartment back when I was in college! The apartment manager did something about it but believe it or not the little monsters came back pretty quickly. So I accepted my defeat and ended up moving out.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Eewh... lol. Important Hub though.

I try not to think of it. When I travel for work they book very nice hotels for us, but I always take my own towel. That's become a bad habit.

After reading this, I will be more observant.

Thanks.


Sun Pen 50 profile image

Sun Pen 50 4 years ago from Srilanka

Bedbugs WERE common here on bus seats, seats in cinema halls, government offices.... Yeah.. some times back. I haven' seen one for ages. Thanks for reminding. up/useful.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Om, good move. Bed bugs are pesky. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

Lady E, I know you can never be too militant with hygiene. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Sun Pen, they are coming back in drones, so I've heard. Thanks for your comments.


Senoritaa profile image

Senoritaa 4 years ago

I have had my share of bed bug nightmare, and I can say all your tips are very helpful. Good share.


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 4 years ago from United States

Hi Anglnwu! Thanks for sharing this great information! I have always been concerned about sanitary conditions in hotels. Is there more they could be doing? I will be sure to follow your advice and look out for these critters!

Voted up, up and away!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Dexter, happy new year and so good to hear from you. I'm also one of those who is very concern about cleanliness. Thanks for commenting.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Ruchira, sorry I missed yours? How did that happen? Thanks for dropping by to comment. Appreciate your support very much.

Senoritaa, once you can relate, it all makes sense. Thanks for your comment.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 4 years ago

Bed bugs is the last thing I want to sleep with in a hotel room, and I often check the hotel review online and avoid hotel as such. You have given me good ideas on how to check them. Thanks !

Happy Chinese New Year to you and your family !


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Ingenira, you're absolutely smart about it--checking hotel review online. Good to see you and thank you so much for visiting so many of my hubs--can't thank you enough. Happy Chinese New year to you and your family too.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Yuck, thanks for the tips on avoiding them. Voting this Up and Useful.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, alocsin, for voting it up.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub. I am late to know this information. I am glad to follow your advice. Thanks for share with us. Well done, my friend. Rated up!

Prasetio


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Prasetio, always good to hear from you. Thank you for being so supportive of my hubs. Thanks for reading and rating it up.


Express10 profile image

Express10 4 years ago from East Coast

I have heard of some people getting bed bugs from their visits to movie theaters and have been told that I should use a flashlight to inspect the seat before sitting down. Scary! Informative hub.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Express10, it's pretty scary, I've to admit. Thanks for commenting.


coffeesnob 4 years ago

I travel a lot out of state to see my mom who is in a nursing home. I am thankful my brother is there. Hotel "Family" is always best. I told my hubby once when travelling that I heard heat draws them out, so he started ironing the bedsheet. LOL


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

coffeeslob, lol on your husband's bright idea, actually not a bad one. I agree hotel "family" is best. Good to hear from you and thank you very much for commenting.


jojokaya profile image

jojokaya 4 years ago from USA

great hub and tips.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

Thanks, jojokaya, for your comments.


CJ Sledgehammer 4 years ago

You are right on target, anglnwu - bed bugs are one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I have read where people lives have been destroyed because of them. I have read where families have had to move after spending well over $10,000 trying to evict them from their home...to no avail.

Brilliant advice, anglnwu. And, this article comes at a good time because there is a bed bug explosion across the United States and abroad. Thank you for the "heads up".

Best wishes and be well - C.J. Sledgehammer


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago Author

CJSledgehammer, thanks for adding to this hub with some stories. They're scary--the whole premise of "prevention is better than cure." Appreciate the visit and best wishes too.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

Ugh! I think a good idea is to take a hair dryer to your suitcase, and blow hot air all around, especially around the edges. I wonder if a hair dryer is hot enough.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 3 years ago Author

Dolores, sounds like a good idea. I think it must be turned up on high. Thanks for dropping by.


skye2day profile image

skye2day 17 months ago from Rocky Mountains

These bugs are awful little buggars to kill off. ugh!!! I know we had them at one time. How the pests got in to our home we will probably never know. You wrote a great hub here dear sister. My opinion is if you have any in your home blow it up and cash in on homeowners insurance and move. JK, not.

Finally after 4 exterminator trips to our home, two steam carpet cleaning jobs, tossing sheets, towels, blankets, bedspreads, furniture including 2 beds, one sofa, one recliner, end tables, luggage, clothing, shoes, comforters and most any house hold items with cloth the pests died out. Not to mention the 3 times we had to sleep away from the home because the chemicals were to harsh for 24 hours.

Thank you dear God for family. It was a horrific experience!! We thank God for His goodness and mercy. We would have never made it without His holding us up. The apartment complex paid for all the cleaning and the bug zapping people. I did get end up with a new and awesome sofa along with 2 new queen size beds from my precious daughters and dear friends. God does turn all things for the good for those that love Him. Glory to God for his mercy and favor. He is the best. Love to you my friend. Thank you for sharing your info. Hugs galore. Skye


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 17 months ago Author

sky2day, thanks for reading and sharing your personal story. It is horrendous but thank God, it worked out more than alright. Bugs are pesky and your story is proof. God bless you, my dear friend.

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