Avoiding Bed Bugs During Summer Travel
Bed bugs spread through passive dispersal. This means they don't know what objects move and what objects stay where they are. When they establish themselves inside a piece of luggage, it isn't because they expect it to go somewhere. It is only because luggage suits their needs for habitation. It is dark and has tight places to squeeze into. It also helps if the luggage smells like human sweat - but we're sure yours doesn't. This propensity to hide in objects that humans transport is what makes summer travel a key factor in the spread of bed bugs. We're going to look at two ways summer travel might bring bed bugs into your home.
Bringing Bed Bugs Home
When you travel to some exotic location (or even one that isn't so exotic) bed bugs could come home with you. Here are some of the ways they'll do it:
It will probably come as no shock to you that bed bugs are attracted to humans. But, what you may not know is that bed bugs are also attracted to items we wear. When you leave dirty laundry somewhere in your room, bed bugs are likely to take notice. It is a good idea to keep your laundry in a trash bag that is sealed with a bread tie, or in some other sealed plastic bag.
Bed bugs can hide in your bags. Refrain from putting laundry items in your luggage, and when you're ready to go home, do a detailed inspection of the creases and the pockets in your luggage. Look for white eggs, tiny tan insects, or adult bed bugs that are about 4.5 mm in length. For the best protection, keep your luggage inside a sealed plastic bag during your stay. It should be okay to take your clothing out and place it conveniently inside the dresser drawers in your room. Just be sure to wash all your clothing with hot water when you get home.
Be aware that, while bed bugs are attracted to clothing that has been worn and luggage that smells like the oils from the skin of humans, they can get into any of your items during your trip. The best way to prevent this is to do a detailed inspection of your room before you bring your things in, or place your items in the bathroom during your inspection. Then use a flashlight to check mattress creases, box spring creases, the space between the mattress and the box spring, baseboards, outlets, and upholstered furniture, for signs of bed bugs. If the room is infested, you may find tiny black droppings, black streaks or patches of black in these areas. You may find tiny white eggs, shed insect skins, or blood stains. You may even find the bed bugs themselves. Bed bugs may be pale, tan, or rusty-brown in color, depending on how old they are. They have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. The abdomen of a bed bug has horizontal creases, and you may see black excrement inside or the red coloration of blood contained inside.
Inviting Bed Bugs In
When you invite someone to come visit you in the summer, whether from far away or nearby, they could bring bed bugs into your home. Here are some ways they'll do it:
If you have a guest stay with you and they have to travel a long way, they may stay somewhere in between. When they do, they can pick bed bugs up. Share this article with them to help them guard against the passive dispersal of bed bugs.
It takes time for a bed bug infestation to become evident in a home. Your friend or family member could bring bed bugs straight from their home to your home. Share the above inspection method and bed bug signs to help them check their own stuff.
When your guest or guests leave, do a quick inspection of the location they slept.
If you find bed bugs in your home during the summer (or any other season) contact a professional. Bed bugs are difficult and frustrating pests to get rid of. Professionals know how to get rid of bed bugs and inspect to make sure they're gone.
At Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators, we use a wide range of natural and conventional bed bug treatment options backed by powerful K-9 bed bugs detection services. If you live in our Illinois service area, give us a call to learn more and to schedule service. Reach out today!