Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite (1)
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Traveling during the holidays can be rough. There's so much to worry about and plan ahead for: bad weather, traffic, and now, bed bugs.

Bedbug infestations have been on the rise since 2009, so it's important to know how to protect yourself and your family from these creatures if you're traveling or if you're welcoming travelers into your home this holiday season.

One thing to keep in mind is that bedbugs aren't only found in beds. They can be found on airplane seats, clothes and even in travelers' suitcases.

According to Scott Svenheim, an expert from pest-control company Truly Nolen, bedbugs can also be found on your pet. Bedbugs love to feed off of warm-blooded animals such as mice, guinea pigs and birds, so if you have those animals as pets, check them frequently for bed bugs.

Bedbugs will also travel up to 15 feet for a meal, so check your desk, side tables, headboards and any other furniture near your bed for bedbugs as well.

Of course the most common place bedbugs live in is the bed. If you see dark red blood stains on your mattress and sheets and smell a sweet, musty odor emanating from your bed, you have a bedbug infestation.

Once you've established that you have an infestation, Svenheim said to remove all linens from the bed and seal them in a plastic bag. Remove all linens from your closet and also remove your drapes and curtains and either wash them or discard of them as well. Vacuum the room thoroughly and discard of the vacuum bag afterward.

Svenheim then recommends that you get the carpet and furniture professionally steam-cleaned and hire a professional to treat the infested area.