Travel tips to keep bed bugs out of your home
Bed bugs have made an astounding comeback here in the Portland Oregon area in the last 10 years. For many years reported infestations were few and far between, but these days and by some reports, bed bug infestations are up more than 70% as compared to 10 years ago.
With the prevalence of bed bugs, and being that many families take vacations during the summer months, we decided to put together the below tips to help you and your family stay bed bug free this summer.
Bed Bug Identification
First in order to avoid these pests, it is necessary to know what they look like and the tell-tale signs that show and active, or past infestation. Bed bugs are small, and range in size between 1 and 7 millimeters, their color is reddish brown and they have flat oval shaped bodies. Bed bugs leave plenty of signs pointing to previous or current infestations. Bed bug fecal matter looks like brown or black pepper flakes, bed bugs also will shed their skins, and an active infestation will include extremely small clear eggs.
Packing for your trip
Taking a few extra minutes to pack your belongings correctly can help avoid allowing these pests to hitch a ride home with you. Often it is recommended to pack clothes, personal hygiene products, and shoes in sealable plastic bags. These sealed bags make it easy for you to access your belongings when needed and cut down on places these bugs can hide. We also recommend packing a small flashlight to help you inspect your hotel room.
Check your hotels reviews online
As bed bug infestations get more prevalent and more and more people use the internet, reviews are a great way to decide where to stay and where to avoid. Check reviews on several websites to see if the hotel has had a recent bed bug problem.
Inspect your hotel room
Bed bugs like to hide in cracks, crevices and folds of bedding, or other places where humans frequent. When you arrive in your hotel room, inspect under pillows, sheets, mattress seams, behind headboards and in seams of chairs and couches. Using the flashlight during this inspection will ensure you are able to see small details like those mentioned above in the bed bug identification paragraph. Other areas that should be checked include, behind pictures and under lamps and nightstands.
Inspect your luggage
Inspect your luggage before bringing into your home. Taking the time to inspect your luggage in a safe place such as a garage or outdoors can help to ensure you don’t bring these pests in. Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcases, bags, and belongings paying special attention to seams, cracks, and folds where bed bugs love to hide.
Check your body
It’s a good idea to check your body and ask those with you to do the same. Small itchy red welts can point to contact with these bugs.