Bed Bugs Cook Up Their Own Thanksgiving Feast

The National Pest Management Association shares easy-to-remember tips to keep hitchhiking pests from taking a bite out of the holidays

FAIRFAX, VA (November 18, 2016) – The busiest travel day of the year is in sight, with more than 48 million Americans expected to travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving – the most since 2007, according to AAA. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds those planning to hit the roads, skies and railways to take the necessary precautions to help reduce encounters with bed bugs and offers advice on ways to avoid bringing the pest home for the holidays.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers because they are so easily transported from one place to another in human belongings, such as suitcases, purses and laptop bags. This makes travelers especially susceptible to picking up bed bugs while away from home, regardless of whether staying in a hotel or at a relative’s house. “The best advice I can give to those traveling over the holidays is to be on the lookout for evidence of bed bug activity at all times,” noted Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.

Some common signs of bed bugs include pepper-like stains on fabric-covered items, molted bed bug skins, the bugs themselves in various life stages, white eggs and empty egg casings. All travelers should thoroughly inspect the room for the presence of these bed bug indicators upon arriving at their intended destination. This includes pulling back the bed sheets to examine the mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and looking in furniture crevices. A small flashlight can help aide in this investigation. If a bed bug infestation is suspected, guests should immediately notify management or property owners, and request a new room.

It’s also good practice for travelers to vacuum their luggage and wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been warn – on high heat when returning home.

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About the National Pest Management Association

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit or Like PestWorld on Facebook.