When it comes to business travel, there may be no transportation method more likely to facilitate the spread of disease quite like airplanes. Tight, cramped, and with passengers elbow-to-elbow, everything from viral infections to bacteria have been known to spread through airplane cabins. Now, however, travelers have one more “bug” to consider when boarding a plane: bed bugs.
For professionals on the move from location to location, the threat of picking up bed bugs from an airline seat, pillow, blanket, or even out on the terminal is only increasing, and businesses serious about maintaining bed bug free buildings need to know what they might be facing if their exclusion strategy is going to be effective.
Here’s a look at how business owners throughout New England are fighting back against the rise of bed bugs on airplanes, and what you can do to make sure your frequent travelers aren’t bringing back bed bugs when they disembark and get back to work.
Travelers, Beware: Bed Bugs Have Gone Airborne
Although not usually known for taking to the skies, bed bugs are notoriously adept at hitching rides to get where they need to go. That makes every traveler on an airplane a potential vector for infestation, with everything from backpacks to luggage to passenger clothing offering a route for bed bugs to make their way onto a plane.
Once on board, it can be easy for bed bugs to find the perfect hiding space to avoid detection while searching for new hosts to cling to. For many travelers, the major danger spots include airplane seats themselves, which feature several seams and folds where bed bugs can hide undisturbed.
But because just about any piece of linen or fabric can become a hiding spot for bed bugs, everything from on-board pillows and blankets can act as avenues for bed bugs to find their way into your luggage or onto your clothes. That makes flying particularly worrisome for busy travelers with a business to worry about.
From the Terminal To Your Business
Whether you’ve got employees travelling for business or customers coming in to your facility for a meeting, the risk of bed bug transfer from airplanes represents a real threat for just about any business. That’s why it’s critical to understand how bed bugs find their way from the airplane into your building, and what you can to to keep them from gaining a foothold in your business.
If your employees are frequent travelers, it may be worthwhile to consider providing quick bed bug prevention training before they begin their travels.
This includes knowing how to recognize the presence in bed bugs on airplane seats, hotel rooms, and even airport seats before bed bugs have a chance to spread. A close inspection of the seams and surfaces of most potential bed bug areas should be enough to identify any problems and bring them to the attention of the airline staff.
Some businesses may even want to consider providing employees with bed bug resistant airplane seat covers, which are explicitly designed to prevent bed bugs from finding their way onto a passenger’s clothing. Not using the blankets or pillows provided by airlines can also drastically reduce the risk of encountering bed bugs in your travels.
In addition, those businesses expecting out-of-town guests or customers should preemptively understand how bed bugs can make the leap from traveler to your business. By sure to keep guests informed of any potential bed bug issues before they begin their travels, and keep a close watch on any areas in your business they may visit just in case any issues arise down the road.
How To Keep Bed Bugs From Affecting Your Business
Regardless of how bed bugs may find their way into your business, the worst thing any business owner can do is ignore the problem. That’s why it’s always important to act quickly and thoroughly to remove bed bug problems before they get out of hand.
One key method for keeping bed bugs from even starting their spread in your business is to utilize a proactive prevention strategy, including tools like active monitoring which can alert you to their presence almost as soon as they appear. By taking active steps to identify bed bugs early, you set your business up for a much better response long before the problem becomes a major one.
Suspect bed bugs may have come into your business after a business trip or visit from a guest who flew in? It is imperative that you contact an experienced bed bug professional who can utilize a range of elimination strategies to keep bed bugs from spreading even further, and eliminate any who may be present on your property.
If you’re concerned about bed bugs ending their airline travels at your doorstep (or beyond), don’t hesitate. The longer you wait, the more damage bed bugs can do to your business - meaning this is no threat to leave up in the air. Get in touch with our bed bug experts at JP Pest Services and get your business protected before bed bugs become a problem that affects your bottom line.