What to do to prevent bedbugs while traveling
Bedbugs have experienced a population explosion in the recent years but they are not the type of souvenir travelers would like to bring home from vacation.
These non-flying insects live in cracks and crevices and especially love mattresses and bedding. They feed on human or animal blood and can spread by carried on in luggage, clothing, purses, and anything that has a small dark crevice for them to hide.
Preventing having any contact with them is not only good for avoiding unpleasant bedbug bites during your trip but also to avoid you bringing them home unintentionally from a vacation.
Fortunately, there are preventative measures that travelers can take to minimize the chances of bringing home these unwelcome pests.
Check out these simple steps to learn how to travel bed bug free.
How to prevent bed bugs from spreading during vacation
1. Check the Bedbug Registry
This is a preventive measure that can save you hassle and money. I didn’t know how to check for bed bugs when traveling but having found this website was a time saver!
Before going on a trip you can check the Bedbug registry site to view in which hotels bedbugs have been spotted across the country.
This is an extremely valuable tool because you can chose the hotels that are safe or, in case you have booked the place already, can take preventative measures before arriving.
If the destined hotel happens to be listed, call and see what measures the hotel is taking to combat and prevent bed bugs.
2. Use bed bugs suitcase plastic bags
When packing for a vacation to an area that has had problematic bed bug infestations, Ziploc bags are a traveler’s best friend.
Here the rule is simple; everything should be packed into Ziploc bags and kept sealed tightly in the bags for the whole vacation! Maybe you have those huge vacuum Ziploc bags at home, then you can use it as a bed bug proof luggage cover too.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make that will leave you vulnerable for bedbugs is to unpack your belongings and stow them away in the dresser drawers of the hotel without first being protected by tightly sealed bags.
3. Choose the right luggage
Hard-sided luggage with latches versus zippers is the recommended style of luggage to use to help preventing you from transporting bed bugs.
Can bed bugs get into hard shell luggage? Yes, specially if you leave them lying anywhere open.
But soft-sided luggage is much easier for bed bugs to access. It is not advised to use them if you are traveling to an infested area.
Light colored luggage is better then dark colored luggage because it makes it easier to spot a bed bug if one happens to attempt to crawl in.
4. Check for bed bugs
The first thing you should do upon arriving at the hotel is to check for bedbugs.
Leave all luggage outside of the room, preferably in the car, until you have conducted a check.
Checking the bedding when arriving at a hotel may or may not reveal evidence of a bed bug infestation. These bugs are very good at secreting themselves away from searching eyes in minuscule cracks and crevices and do their activities at night.
it is very helpful though to have a LED flashlight to check for them. Pay attention in particular to the seams along the edges of the mattresses and the box springs, and check for tell-tale signs of bug casings and dried blood specks.
Here is a quick video on how to check for for bedbugs:
5. Hack to prevent bedbugs
This is a simple hack to prevent bed bugs from crawling into your bed in the middle of the night.
Bring a roll of light colored tape when traveling and tape the legs of the bed with the sticky side of the tape facing out.
Keep all bedding and blankets off the floor to prevent bed bugs crawling up the linens.
The tape doesn’t only prevent them from crawling up the bed but it also traps the bed bugs on the sticky side, so there will be definitive evidence of an infestation in the room, and can be shown to management.
You may be eligible for a hotel bed bugs compensation.
6. Use Bed Bug Spray
Another preventive measure is to spray your luggage before you travel and then your mattress in the destination.
You can then truly avoid transferring them by spraying the suitcase inside and out with strong bed bug killer spray. Using a spray is brilliant because it will cover the small places that bedbugs like to hide in.You can take this bed bug travel spray in your purse:
How to protect your luggage from bed bugs
You should keep your luggage away from the floor, sleeping areas and sofas or chairs.
The best place to stow your suitcases is on a luggage rack, taking care to wrap the legs of the luggage rack in tape, sticky side out like I explained above.
High heat or intense cooling will kill bed bugs, so you can rent a steamer and clean your bag, but it is way easier to keep bed bugs out of your stuff than it is to get them out of your luggage later.
Another useful way to prevent bringing bed bugs home from vacation is to launder the clothes used on vacation in hot water and dry on high heat before repacking immediately into the tightly sealed Ziploc bags.
There is not need to get anxious about bed bugs before going on a vacation. Most good hotels regularly conduct bug checks in their rooms and utilize local pest control services when needed.
However, bed bugs control is not such an easy task in a hotel situation because of the constant flow of guests from all over place (who may unknowingly re-infest a location).
Therefore you should be taking these preventative measures every time you go away on vacation. They will help reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs home from vacation.
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