Help Prevent The Spread Of Bed Bugs

TheMountaineer.com
Monday, December 19, 2011

RALEIGH - The holidays bring lots of travel, and the North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA) is urging North Carolinians to be vigilant in preventing the spread of bed bugs.

"People tend to travel a lot this time of year, which can increase the spread of bed bugs," said Lee Smith, board member of NCPMA and entomologist. "People may not realize that hotels, rental properties or even dorms can be infested with bed bugs.  Some simple actions can help decrease the chance of bringing bed bugs home after being away."

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) bed bugs hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment.  They are often found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery and in furniture crevices. The bed bugs can become even more of a problem for travelers when they return home after vacation because the pests will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes, and begin infesting a home.

The NPMA provides several steps to help prevent bed bugs from becoming a problem.  These steps are:

» Vacuum suitcases and bags after returning from a vacation or staying in a dorm room. Wash all clothing from the suitcases and bags in hot water.

» Before sleeping in a hotel or rental property bed, check the mattress, bed sheets, and headboard for tell-tale blood spots or signs of bed bugs.

» If signs of bed bugs are spotted, alert the hotel or rental property staff.  Each hotel or rental property should have a Bed Bug Management Plan in place to assist you as the problem is addressed.

» Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag in which to store your suitcase during hotel stays.

» Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.

» Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control to address an infestation. Trying to treat a problem without a professional can make the problem worse and more costly.