National Pest Management
Association offers travelers tips to prevent bed bug
February 19 (Fairfax, VA) - Spring break is no longer simply for
college students. Now, many adults also "break" the winter
blues by heading for warmer destinations. As spring break
approaches, 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 2001.
"Bed bugs are elusive, nocturnal pests that thrive on blood."
says Greg Baumann, senior scientist 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 Baumann.
"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.
For more information on bed bugs, visit: www.pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit
organization with more than 5,000 members, was established in 1933
to support the pest management industry's commitment to the
protection of public health, food and property.