Thanksgiving is almost here, and we all know how stressful it can be to get ready for the big day.  For many homeowners, this means traveling to visit their loved ones and all of the hassles associated with it. The last thing on your mind is bed bugs and unfortunately, humans aren’t the only species that do a lot of traveling around the holiday.

Bed bugs will be taking the opportunity to catch a ride on the nearest suitcase, piece of clothing, or handbag. So after leaving the family, and traveling back home, bed bugs could be hitching a ride.  It’s important to keep an eye out for these bugs. If you don’t, you could face an unwanted infestation when you get home. Unfortunately, bed bugs won’t just stop in for a friendly visit. Just one bed bug getting inside your home could be the beginning of a stressful infestation.

Important tips for you while keeping the risk of bed bugs to an absolute minimum:

  • Do research on hotels, motels, and inns before you reserve your sleeping accommodations to make sure reviews don’t mention bed bugs.
  • At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots.  If you see anything suspect, notify management and change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.  If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Pack your clothing in airtight plastic bags within your suitcase.  Take along extra airtight bags for things you buy or for dirty laundry.
  • Consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
  • Watch for bed bugs in taxis, rideshare, buses, trains, and planes, especially on headrests.

Think you may have brought bed bugs home?

If you do come in contact with a bed bug infestation during your travels, it can be very hard to prevent them from infesting your house. Follow these steps after returning to decrease the chances of an infestation:

  • Carefully examine the suitcase for bed bugs and other signs. Pay close attention to zippers and creases as they like to hide there.
  • Remember: bed bugs travel by hitching rides. After your trip, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Store luggage in the garage our until you have the opportunity to examine them. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.
  • Contact pest professionals for an inspection if you begin seeing signs of an infestation.

We know from experience that bed bugs are hard to get rid of and a horrible experience for people everywhere. We offer a comprehensive bed bug control service that allows us to quickly identify an infestation. Our effective heat treatment technology gets rid of all of those developmental stages of bed bugs and it is eco-friendly. If you have bed bug problems in your home, ECO Bed Bug Washington DC has the solution. Give us a call today at (202) 709-7490 and ask about our bed bug solutions.

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