Fun, Sun and Bed Bugs?

National Pest Management Association shares bed bug prevention tips for Spring Breakers

FAIRFAX, Va. (March 6, 2013) – Every year, millions of Americans look forward to escaping to popular destinations during their Spring Break vacation. But whether it’s fun in the sun with college friends or a relaxing family getaway, travelers may find themselves with a biting problem – bed bugs. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) encourages those traveling this spring to brush up on bed bug prevention tips.

“From hostels to five-star hotels, bed bug encounters have become much more common in all types of lodging facilities,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “Fortunately, there are a few things Spring Break travelers can do before, during and after their vacation to avoid finding bed bugs in hotels and bringing them home in suitcases.”

To enjoy a bed bug-free Spring Break, NPMA experts offer the following tips: 

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity. 
  • Set your luggage away from walls and never place it on the bed. Use a large plastic trash bag or a protective cover to store your suitcases during your hotel stay.
  • If you see anything suspicious, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure your new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room.
  • After your trip, inspect and vacuum your suitcases thoroughly before bringing them into the house. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs.
  • Wash all of your clothes - even those that have not been worn - in hot water.

“Many people might look at bed bug prevention as an additional task to add to the vacation checklist, but it could mean the difference between enjoying a great trip and having it turn into a dreaded bed bug nightmare,” added Henriksen.

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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.