Experts Caution Increased Summer Travel Could Mean More Bed Bug Encounters

National Pest Management Association shares tips for avoiding these hitchhiking pests

FAIRFAX, VA (June 5, 2017) — All signs are pointing to a heavy summer travel season with Airline for America predicting a 4 percent increase in U.S. airline travel alone during the warmer months. But, what comes with more travelers? A greater chance of encountering bed bugs, according to experts from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). In observance of Bed Bug Awareness Week, June 4-10, 2017, NPMA, in partnership with the professional pest control industry, is working to spread awareness about bed bug prevention and control as people head out for summer vacations.

“Bed bugs are very hardy, elusive pests, making them difficult to control, especially inside travel accommodations where they can spread from room to room,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs at NPMA. “Given the growing pest control concern around bed bugs and the fact that they are so easily spread through travel, it’s important that people properly protect themselves now that peak travel season is here.”

NPMA recommends several tips to guard against bed bugs when traveling, including carrying a small flashlight to assist with visual inspections before unpacking, checking sheets, mattress seams and box springs for telltale signs of activity, including dark, mottled spots, shed skins and the bugs themselves, and bringing a large plastic trash bag to store suitcases in during hotel stays. Upon returning home, travelers should consider vacuuming suitcases inside and out and washing all clothes in hot water to kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride.

Bed bugs are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, including residences, schools, offices, retail stores and even public transportation. “The bottom line is that vigilance is key to bed bug prevention, so it’s important for people to be conscientious of all surroundings,” added Mannes. 

If a bed bug infestation is suspected, seek immediate pest control assistance. For more information about bed bugs, visit


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