Going on vacation? Make sure that you don’t bring back any unwanted souvenirs – bed bugs! Essentially if you are travelling this summer you should thoroughly check your accommodation on arrival and your luggage on your return to eliminate bed bugs before they get into your home.
Bed bugs are causing major problems throughout the United States with even the biggest and best hotels falling victim to outbreaks.
Whilst bed bugs are not thought to spread disease they have been deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and also the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be public health pests.
These nocturnal vampires feed on human blood (although they will prey on domestic pets.) The anticoagulant which they inject to allow the blood to flow more freely as they feed often triggers an allergic reaction resulting in red, itchy welts on the skin. These will cause discomfort for a few days but bacterial skin infections are possible if the skin becomes broken because of scratching. The only way to get rid of bed bug bites is to eliminate the bed bugs.
There are many ways in which bed bugs can get into your home but bringing them home from a trip away is still one of the biggest causes.
Common signs of bed bugs
* Small blood smears on bedding.
* Red, itchy bites on exposed areas of skin when you wake.
* Dark brown/black spots which are in fact bed bug pop.
* Discarded skins which the bugs shed as they grow.
* Live bugs
* Eggs – likened in size, shape and color to a grain of rice.
Eliminate Bed Bugs – 4 Point Hotel Check List
* Keep all luggage closed and off the floor (most hotels supply luggage stands – Use it!) You may consider buying luggage covers which prevent the bed bugs getting into your belongings.
* Strip the bed and check the mattress particularly around buttons and handles, along seams and in any creases for signs of bed bugs. Along the base of the headboard and the box spring should be inspected also.
* Check bedding for blood smears other signs of bed bugs.
* Thoroughly check inside closets, drawers etc. Don’t forget to take drawers out and check the underside. If you discover white powder inside any of the furniture or around the edges of the room it is a sure sign that there may have been a recent attempt to eliminate bed bugs.
* Disposable Mattress Cover (1 Size Fits All) specifically designed for use in hotels etc can be a good way to protect yourself against bed bug bites.
If you suspect the room you have been allocated may have bed bugs request another room preferably at the opposite side of the hotel and once again follow the check list before you even consider unpacking.
Eliminate Bed Bugs – 3 Point Home Action Plan
* Do not open luggage in the house – if possible do it outside or in a detached out building. Methodically check everything for signs of bed bugs – remember to include purses, laptops, suitcases etc. in this check.
* If you suspect you may have unwanted guests in your luggage place all clothing in plastic bags, seal them and take them immediately to your laundry area. Launder and tumble dry everything at as high temperatures as fabrics allow.
Remember:- Vigilance is our only real defense against bed bug infestations getting into our homes.
To read one travellers horror story from NewsChannel5.com