Holiday Travel Without Bed Bugs
Being on the lookout for bed bugs, especially during the holidays, is an added stress, but is necessary.
Bed bugs are well known for their ability to easily hitchhike on personal belongings.
During busy travel times, bed bugs seem to find their way into places they’ve never been before.
They easily transfer on people’s clothing and luggage in transportation vehicles. They’ve been found in taxis, buses, trains, airplanes and more.
They are often found in hotels, bed and breakfasts and hostels. Sometimes, staying at a relative that doesn’t know they have them, can be the source.
ThermalPro is Here to Help!
ThermalPro is here to help you so that you don’t bring them home. The most important fact surrounding bed bugs is knowing how to recognize their signs.
Most of us are so busy with life that we tend not to look for signs of bed bugs often enough. Finding them early on will save you from developing an infestation.
One bed bug is NOT an infestation! Bed bugs takes time to build into infestation levels. So, discovering their presence early is the key to getting rid of them.
We encourage our clients to check for signs of bed bugs often. Each week when you change your sheets, take a moment and look for signs.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Blood Smears: This is what people often find as the first sign of bed bugs. Small blood stains on their bedding or clothing. People often think they just scratched themselves and never suspect a bug bite.
Eggs: A female bed bug will lay 200-500 eggs in her left time. She doesn’t lay them all at once.
These eggs take from 7 to 10 days or longer to hatch and are extremely difficult to find because of their size.
Fecal Stains: Bed bugs leave tell-tale signs like these fecal stains. These are small ink-like dots. This is from oxidized blood. After a bed bug receives its blood meal and digest it, it will “poop” leaving small black stains.
You may only find a few of these which indicates bed bugs are present. Notice how the stain is absorbed into fabric. The more bed bugs, the more of these stains you will find.
Cast Skins: Cast skins are when a bed bug outgrows its skin and leaves the old one behind. It is similar to when a snake outgrows its skin. These empty skins are clear or pale yellow in color and an exact duplication of the bed bug.
If you find any of these signs, give us a call right away.
A Well-Seasoned Traveler
These well-seasoned travelers are small parasites which survives on blood. They normally feed off of humans but can feed off animals if the infestation is large enough.
Mostly active at night but will adjust their feeding patterns to when their blood meal is present. So, if you work at night and sleep during the day, the bed bug will come out during the day to feed.
Before they feed, they are flat and easily fit in spaces as thin as a piece of paper. They prefer to hide in small, dark places such as cracks, crevices, or folds in cloth and will generally stay hidden unless they are feeding.
They are usually found in the piping of a mattress or within a few feet of a bed or common resting areas like easy chairs or couches. Thus, the name bed bugs.
Travel Protection Tips
Our number one travel tip is learning how to pack your belongings before your trip. The International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA) suggests:
- Use sealable bags to individually wrap all clothing and personal items in before placing them into your luggage.
- Bring along extra bags to place your soiled clothing in (bed bugs love the human smell of soiled clothing).
- You also may want to place your whole luggage in a sealable bag so a hitchhiker doesn’t find a way onto it.
- When staying in a hotel, thoroughly inspect your room for signs of bed bugs before bringing your luggage in. You can also place your luggage in the bathtub while you are doing this.
- Instead of unpacking, it is safer to leave your items in bags on luggage racks or hard surfaces.
Change into clean clothes.
Before placing any item in the trunk of your car, make sure they are wrapped. This way, if you picked up a hitchhiker, none will wind up in your car.
Lay out a sheet or plastic tarp in your garage or outside to place your luggage on while you unpack.
Take all clothing and place into a hot dryer for 30-40 minutes. (This will kill every stage of bed bugs including eggs).
Examine your luggage and use a steamer to steam the luggage. Bed bugs and their eggs cannot tolerate heat of a steamer.
Remember, bed bugs can’t get into your home unless you bring them in. [Of course, this is different in a multi-unit or shared wall environment where a neighbor may have them.]
Talk About Bed Bugs
We try our best to get people talking about bed bugs. There is no reason to be ashamed or fear them. Anyone, at any time, can get a bed bug that can grow into an infestation.
If for any reason you find that you may have signs of bed bugs and are not sure, reach out to us. We are always here to help you.
Meanwhile, travel safe without bed bugs!