Tips to Stay Safe During Bedbug Season
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Warmer weather and travel season raise the risk for bedbugs, but
you can take precautions.
"It's a little bit warmer. That means household temperatures are
going to be warmer. That means bedbugs are going to complete life
cycles a little quicker. They're going to be a little more active,"
says University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp.
People also step up their travel this time of year, attending
graduations, weddings and taking vacations.
"This may bring them into contact with areas where bedbugs are
simply more common, hotels, motels, and this is an opportunity to
bring these very clever hitchhikers home with you," Raupp says.
What can you do to dodge the pests?
"No. 1, whenever I stay at a hotel or motel, I look at the
mattress very carefully," Raupp says.
Look for tiny specks along the seam of the mattress or on the
box spring. If you see evidence of bedbugs, get a new room -- and
not the room next door.
There's an online bedbug registry that lists hotel
where bugs have been detected. But Raupp points out that bedbugs
can be found at any hotel or motel.
"Bedbugs -- they know no bounds. They're going to infest
high-end places, low-end places and every place in between," Raupp
A good strategy to avoid bringing home bedbugs is to keep your
clothing off the hotel room floor and out of the drawers.
"Use that luggage stand. Don't unpack into the drawers," Raupp
There's also a great precaution you can employ when you get
"Everything goes straight into the dryer. It doesn't have to go
into the washer, but everything into the dryer. Run it through one
cycle. About 115 to 120 degrees in a dryer will kill all life
stages of bedbugs. It's an excellent way to protect yourself after
you travel," Raupp says.