Bring Home Memories – Not Bed Bugs – This Spring Break!NPMA Staff
Saturday, February 19, 2011
By NPMA Staff
Spring break is no longer simply for college students.
Now, many adults also "break" the winter blues by heading for
warmer destinations. The National Pest Management Association
(NPMA) reminds all travelers of the risk of bringing home
bed bugs from their spring sojourns, especially as the NPMA
continues to note a 71% increase in reports of these pests since
"Bed bugs are elusive, nocturnal pests that thrive on blood,"
says Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA. "While
these pests do not transmit diseases, bed bugs inject an
anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin as they bite, leaving
their victims undisturbed. It is only when people awake that they
find unexplained, itchy red welts covering their bodies."
One reason that bed bugs pose such a problem for travelers is
their keen ability to "hitchhike." Bed bugs can travel easily -
from beds to sofa cushions, from room to room and even home via
suitcases. Once an infestation develops, bed bugs are extremely
difficult to remove and require the experience of a pest
professional to eliminate an infestation.
More, it is important for travelers to understand the prevalence
of bed bugs. "Although many associate bed bugs with sanitation
levels, this is simply a myth," states Fredericks. "Vigilance is
critical, especially as we know that a five star resort can be as
susceptible to bed bugs as a hostel."
The NPMA offers three tips to prevent bed bugs from returning
home with travelers:
- At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams,
particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If
you see anything suspect, change rooms/establishments
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including
behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If any pests are
spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
- After traveling, inspect your suitcases before bringing them
into the house. Vacuum them thoroughly and wash all of your clothes
in hot water.