Tips For Protecting Your Luggage From Bed Bugs When Traveling
Taking the annual family vacation or going on an important business trip can sometimes bring more than good memories or major career milestones home with you -- blood sucking bed bugs may have unknowingly hitchhiked home with you as well. Below, we’ve provided some insight into how you can avoid picking up these unwanted visitors.
Hitchhiking Across The Country
Bed bugs have been invading commercial properties and homes for as long as we can remember. In the last 10 years, there's been an influx of infestations especially in major urban areas, including New England.
These pests are some of the most disturbing kinds - they feed on our blood as we sleep and due to their notorious hitchhiking nature are readily mobile, moving from location to location while quickly spreading infestation across your home, cities and consequently, the nation.
Protect Your Luggage
If you think the bed is the only place where these pests reside, think again. If there is an active infestation in your room, they can be anywhere within the space, including drawers and other furniture pieces in the room.
To avoid bringing home an infestation, the first thing you need to do is protect your luggage. Once bed bugs burrow themselves into the crevices and seams of your suitcase, they can stay alive without a feeding for up to four months.
How To Protect Yourself On The Next Trip
Your best bet for protecting your luggage from bed bugs is inspection. Upon arrival at the hotel room, be sure to do a thorough check to keep any hungry bugs out of your luggage. A quick overview isn’t enough - taking a few minutes to check every part of the room is better than bringing an infestation back to your home. Be sure to check behind the pillows and matresses for blood stains left behind by bed bugs.
While this may not be convenient, living out of your luggage and not putting your clothes in the drawers or closet of the hotel room is also a surefire way to prevent bed bugs from latching onto your personal items. Use a metal luggage rack to keep your suitcase away from the carpet, furniture and bed frame and avoid placing your luggage on the extra bed in the room
Use bags that can be sealed tightly for your used clothes, so that bed bugs don’t have the chance to crawl into your clothing. Also, consider using a suitcase bag to protect it from bed bugs crawling into the seams and hidden crevices. Many companies have developed bags that you can purchase for this sole purpose.
When The Trip Is Finished
Again, inspection is critical to preventing taking bed bugs home with you. Perform a thorough inspection of your luggage, clothing, personal items and bed before you leave the hotel room - bed bugs excrete blood after feeding, so you may see stains on your pillow or bed. Seal clothing in plastic bags and place your luggage in the large bag for storage in your trunk (if you’ve driven to your destination) for your trip home.
Once you’re home, launder everything in hot water and detergent and dry on low heat for at least 20 minutes to kill any bed bugs. Vacuum your suitcases and freeze them, if possible, to kill any remaining pests.
Bed bugs multiply rapidly, so taking a few preventive measures on your travels can help ensure that you don’t bring home an unwanted infestation. If you discover you’ve brought home some unwelcome insects, be sure to contact your local pest control professional to treat, control and ultimately, eliminate an undesirable bed bug infestation.
Think you may already have a bed bug problem? The experienced professionals at JP Pest Services can get rid of blood-feeding insects from your home quickly and completely! Contact JP Pest Services to request a free residential estimate today!