Easter is coming! Are you excited and waiting for a long weekend? If you are planning to travel at Easter, beware of bed bugs. Here are some tips to prevent bed bugs when travelling at Easter.
How do you get bed bugs?
Since the early 2000s there has been a drastic increase in the number of bed bug infestations around the globe. In Ireland, 2016 sees 80% increase in bed bug infestation, compared to the same period in 2015. There are two factors that have led to the rise in bed bugs:
- Global travel: Hotels and other overnight accommodation facilities play an important part in the spread of bed bugs. The increase in global travel has led to these facilities receiving a high amount of human traffic. This allows bed bugs to spread easily, discreetly travelling from one occupant to another.
- Second-hand furniture sales: Hotels and other overnight accommodation facilities play an important part in the spread of bed bugs. The increase in global travel has led to these facilities receiving a high amount of human traffic.
How to avoid bed bugs when travelling?
So you’ve learnt about the role hotels and travel play in the spread of bed bugs, but how can you prevent this?
Check your hotel room for bed bugs
Contrary to their name, bed bugs are not only found in beds. Easily transportable in clothing and baggage, these insects can thrive in just about any crack or crevice. Rarely seen in the day, they hide their paper-thin bodies in all kinds of furniture.
When staying in a hotel, motel, or any other overnight accommodation whilst on holiday, inspecting the room for bed bugs can help ensure you don’t find yourself giving these biting insects a free ride back to your home.
Find out more about locating bed bugs in hotels here
What are signs of bed bugs?
- Dark/black stains – on the mattress and surrounding area from bed bug excreta.
- Sweet scent – an unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent.
- Cast nymphal skins – small crisp like insect skins that are cast off as the bed bug nymphs grow from stage to stage.
- Live insects – despite being small (adult are only 4-5mm long) it’s possible to spot live bed bugs and shed skins.
You all like to get a restful sleep and nice DREAM when you travel:
- Do a survey of the bed to see if there are any telltale indications of infestation, such as noticeable spots on the mattress or bed clothes.
- Raise the mattress and the bed itself. The bedbugs are more likely to be hiding there during the day.
- Elevate your belongings. Don’t leave them lying on the floor or bed. Use luggage racks or tables.
- Analyse your belongings when you get home. Did you bring back any unexpected passenger bugs with you?
- Machine-dry your clothes in a hot drier to ensure no bedbugs are snuggling up in them.
Use luggage stands with caution
Luggage stands in hotel rooms are a hot spot for bed bug activity. Bed bugs often use luggage to travel and infest a new home, because of this luggage stands are often the first point of contact for bed bugs.
When staying in a hotel it’s a good idea to store your luggage in the ensuite bathroom whilst carrying out an inspection of a room, and during the whole stay. This can drastically reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs home with you.
Find out more tips about using luggage properly to avoid bed bugs
At home use your WITS:
- Wash your bed clothes on a temperature of at least 60℃, and if possible place the items into a tumble dryer for at least 30 minutes. Bed bugs aren’t great survivors in high temperatures. Washing clothing will help eliminate both adult bed bugs and bed bug eggs, reducing the risk of a bed bugs in your home
- Inspect your luggage, clothes, beds and furniture for signs of infestation. And remember to check after visitors too.
- Tidy your rooms. You can see signs of infestation more clearly when your rooms are clean and tidy.
- Send old clothes and lined to charity shops. Don’t leave them lying around in closets. If you don’t wear it, you don’t need it
If you have found yourself with a bed bug problem, the best way to remove bed bugs from your home or business is to enlist the help of a pest control professional. Or simply Tweet us at @Rentokil_PestIE to get immediate assistance.