How to Dodge Bed Bugs While Traveling This Summer
Monday, June 25, 2012
BOSTON (CBS) - As summer arrives and you head for a little fun
in the sun you'll want to make sure you don't bring home an
unwanted souvenir: bed bugs.
To avoid that nightmare you need to know that bed bugs don't just
seek out humans. They can also use your pet to hitch a ride into
Charlotte Reed loves to travel with her dog, but worries about
exposing her pet to bed bugs when they're on the road.
"My dog sleeps in the bed with me," Reed says. "So just like I'm
exposed to bed bugs at night in the bed, so is she."
It's a valid concern says Jeffrey White of Bedbug Central. In fact,
a recent survey found 67 percent of pest management companies have
treated bed bugs in hotel rooms. And White says all pets are fair
"Dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, any pet, for instance, could be a
food source for a bed bug," White says.
While bed bugs don't tend to live on pets long-term, like fleas and
ticks, that doesn't mean your pet can't bring them home. Bed bugs
can hitch a ride on your pet or snuggle up inside its
So how can you keep your pets and your home safe? First, experts
say, when traveling thoroughly inspect your hotel room for bugs
before you bring your pet through the door. The bugs are visible to
the naked eye.
"One of the most common areas that you want to inspect when you
stay in a hotel room is either the headboard, where bugs will
typically hide, or the bottom of the box spring," White says.
Second, consider leaving your pet's bedding in the bathroom, where
there will be less chance of bugs. And consider treating the
carrier with a pet safe bed bug repellent spray.
When you check out, make sure to examine your pet's bedding
thoroughly. And take further precautions once you get home.
"Immediately launder (bedding) in the hottest water that you can,"
says Kimberly May of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
"If there are any rips or holes in it, you want to discard
While none of these precautions can guarantee to keep your pets and
home bed bug free, experts say they can cut down the risk,
Something Charlotte is determined to do.
"Bed bugs can travel anywhere," says Reed. "Always be
Unlike fleas and ticks, beg bugs aren't known to carry disease.
Their bites are merely irritating and itchy to pets and