Holiday Travel and Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Background
Bed bugs travel through hitchhiking. Their small size enables them to go unnoticed on clothing and baggage. Once they reach a new destination, i.e. your bedroom, they can crawl somewhere secure and wait for a new blood meal, also known as you, to arrive. Bed bugs were largely eliminated through much of the 1900’s and didn’t really start making headlines again until the 1990’s. Now, however, they are back with a vengeance and are even more difficult to control because of their small size, resistance to common pest products, and ease with which they hitchhike via travelers.
Bed Bugs on Linens
Public transportation is a prime spot for bed bugs to hitch a ride to their next destination. Buses, trains and planes are sure to be packed this holiday season as people make their way all over the place to get home. They also tend to be found in theaters, hotels, dorm buildings, apartments...they like to be where people are.
Bed bugs will typically travel until they find a safe place with steady access to human blood. (Now do you see why we call them vampires?) This means that they won’t just hang out in the middle of the floor waiting to jump on you (they don’t jump, they crawl), but rather wedge themselves in cracks and crevices to remain hidden while waiting for a warm body to come along so they can feed. There isn’t much you can do if you have to sit in a plane or train seat for a few hours that happens to have bed bugs. You can check before you sit, and change your plans a little if you find something but bed bugs are excellent at hiding so finding them can be tough for humans. Since there is little to be done, this next step is important.
How to Check Your Suitcase
When you get to your destination, even if it’s relatives you don’t particularly care for, it’s a good idea to check your luggage for any of these tiny blood sucking hitchhikers. Adult bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye so a quick check of your shoes, luggage, backpacks, and jackets might be enough to spot one and squish it before it makes its way into your bedroom. Some hot spots for bed bugs to hitch a ride include seams and zippers of clothing, shoes and luggage.
Bed bug infestations are not something that you can use do-it-yourself methods to get rid of. Over the counter methods are ineffective and can be incredibly dangerous. American Pest’s bed bug team is ready to help if bed bugs do manage to make their way into your home and make your life a crawling nightmare.
Newsletter Sign Up
Form key: "e-newsletter-signup" does not match a valid form