Ahhh, the holidays. A time for getting together with family and friends, eating way too much, and for most people, traveling. Here are a few simple steps to help you avoid bringing hitchhikers to the festivities.
Before you travel, check the Bed Bug Registry - bedbugregistry.com. The Bed Bug Registry is a free, public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from across the United States and Canada. Founded in 2006, the site has collected about 20,000 reports covering 12,000 locations. They also have an app.
Read reviews but read them cautiously. There is no accountability for what people post. The posting could be made by a disgruntled employee or a competing hotel. Check the dates of the reviews. In most cases, when a hotel gets a bed bug problem they will have it resolved right way.
Always carry a bright flashlight when you travel so that you can do an inspection of your hotel room prior to settling in.
When you arrive at your hotel, if possible leave your bags in the car until you have inspected your room. If you cannot leave the bags in the car, set them down in the bathroom. Bedbugs do not like tile floors and it is very unlikely that they will be in the bathroom. If the bathroom is carpeted, but them into the bathtub.
Begin your inspection by pulling back the sheets and pillow cases. Look for little brownish-red bugs, tiny white eggs and dried blood which look like black spots on the mattress. Check the corners and seams and inspect in between the mattress and the box springs. If the mattresses are clean, it is very likely there are no bedbugs in the room as they like to hide on the mattress to be close to their next meal. If you are still not convinced, you can always check the headboard, bed frame, electrical switch plates, pictures and the furniture in the room.
Even if you do not find bedbugs, store your luggage off the floor. Bedbugs can travel from room to room. They could be in the room next to yours or someone may bring them into the room next door during your stay. They may come to your room after you have already done your inspection so do not make it easy for them to crawl into your luggage.
It is always a good idea to bring a plastic bag from home and put your dirty clothes into it when you take them off as opposed to laying them on the floor.
Finally, when you get home, unload your luggage in the garage (if you have one) and vacuum them out before bringing them into the home. Be sure to throw the vacuum bag away afterwards because if you do happen to bring home a bedbug and you vacuum it up, it will crawl out of the vacuum cleaner.
As long as you are vigilant to check your accommodations and follow these simple steps, you will be able to safeguard your holidays from bedbug infestations.
If, when you arrive home, you feel you may have bought home an unwanted guest, call Hometown Pest Control for a free bedbug inspection at 866-278-8250.