The holiday season is full of people traveling to visit family and friends. While these are usually times of joy, this increase in travel can also lead to unwanted guests coming back home in the form of bed bugs. Almost nothing will ruin the holiday spirit like an infestation of these pests. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid coming into contact with them and ensuring the good cheer will continue throughout the season.
Families preparing to voyage to see loved ones will want to take the following precautions in order to avoid having a run in with these bloodsucking pests.
1. Check online bed bug registries before booking reservations to see if the destination has had a prior problem with bed bugs.
2. When traveling by vehicle, place all gifts in a container with a tight lid or in a garbage bag. If possible, put these items in the trunk.
3. Protect luggage when traveling via public transportation by wrapping the bags in plastic. This will prevent the bugs from hopping from one set of luggage to another. If this isn’t feasible, place clothes in plastic bags inside the luggage.
4. When arriving at the hotel room, take time to inspect it before unpacking the bags. Look under the mattresses, in the baseboards and behind headboards. Watch for reddish or brownish stains on bedding or upholstered furniture, which can be a sure sign bed bugs are in the area.
5. While inspecting the room, be sure to keep the luggage off the floor until the room has been cleared. If this is not possible, place the bags in the bathroom, where the bright lights and tiled floor will make the bugs easy to spot if they try to get to the bags.
6. Prior to leaving for home, place all clothing in sealable plastic bags, even those that were not worn.
7. Launder the clothing at the hottest setting possible immediately upon returning home.
8. Before bringing the luggage inside, be sure to check the bags to make sure bed bugs didn’t hitch a ride home.
9. Run a steamer over the luggage and any other items if bed bugs are suspected. High temperatures will kill any of the pests that might have escaped detection before.
10. Stow the bags as far from the bedrooms as possible, preferably in a garage.
Traveling during the holidays is a tradition for many families. It is a time to get together with loved ones who may not have been seen since the previous year. These gatherings should be a joyous time. They can be ruined by either inadvertently bringing bed bugs into someone else’s home or by bringing them back. Luckily, this can be easily avoided by taking a few precautions prior to taking the trip as well as while travelling and upon returning home.
Karen Barnes writes for a website that has more tips for dealing with bed bugs. You can click here to read more.