How To Avoid Bed Bugs This Summer Vacation
Friday, June 24, 2011
If you're worried about picking up bed bugs on your summer
travels, you're not alone. Nearly 80 percent of Americans are
more concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels than anywhere
else, according to a
survey by the National Pest Management
And there is good reason for the fear. Getting rid of bed bugs
is expensive, time-consuming and extraordinarily difficult. And
there is no question there is a bed bug epidemic. Pest management
businesses have seen a 71 percent increase in bed bug
infestations in the U.S. since 2001.
A couple safety precautions, however, can help:
1. Think rural.
It doesn't matter whether you say in an upscale resort or a
hostel-you're at equal risk. But bed bugs are more prevalent in
urban and suburban areas. Your risk is far less in less populated
2. Pack carefully. Consider Frommer's
A hard-shelled suitcase has fewer folds and seams where bedbugs
can hide. Pack your belongings - clothes, toiletries, shoes - in
sealable plastic bags, and open only when accessing the items.
Alternatively, consider wrapping your entire pack in a trash bag to
stave off potential infestations during your travels.
3. Check the hotels' reputation.
The Bed Bug Registry
is a free, public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from
across the U.S. and Canada.
4. Be cautious while flying
There were a few
of being bitten on airplanes, but it's not a huge
concern, yet. Check out fellow BNET blogger Peter
on how not to pick up bedbugs in the air.
5. Once at the hotel, investigate.
recommends you pull back the sheets and
inspect the mattress seams, particularly the corners, for brownish
or reddish spots. Bedbugs are reddish brown and range in size
from 1 to 7 millimeters. Don't put your luggage on the
bed and after you pack put your suitcase in a large plastic
6. Switch Rooms
If you find bedbugs, call the management. If you decide to
stay at the hotel, be sure your new room is not adjacent to or
right above or below the infested room.
7. Home Sweet (uninfested) Home
When you return home, inspect and vacuum your suitcases
before bringing them into the house. Wash all your
clothes - whether worn or not - in hot water.
It can be somewhat of a hassle to go through all these steps.
Do you take these measures when you travel?