The holiday season is upon us and amid all the joy and celebrations some people may be dealing with unwanted guests.
We’ve all heard about the problem of bed bugs in hotels. But this isn’t the only risk travelers might face. Recent years have seen an increase in reports of bed bugs on airplanes. And these insects don’t distinguish between economy and business class!
Airplanes provide an ideal environment for bed bugs to thrive in. People’s belongings are left unattended for hours. Passengers sit close to each other and do not move for long periods. In such confined spaces, it’s not surprising that bugs can be transmitted from person to person.
As much as we anticipate the festive holiday season, it can be a hectic time for those traveling near and far to celebrate with family and friends. Even though we are still dealing with COVID people are traveling again. For those who are traveling, it’s more important than ever to follow safety measures like wearing masks and regular handwashing. In addition to germs, no one wants to share bed bugs.
S.L.E.E.P.: Bed bug precautions to remember
Travelers should check for signs of bed bugs anywhere they stay, and can prevent contact and travel with these pests by remembering the following S.L.E.E.P. tips.
Survey your hotel room for signs of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are not a sanitation issue, so they can be found in a five-star hotel as well as a one-star motel. Look for brown or red spots on sheets and other fabrics, and be alert for a telltale musty, sweet odor.
Lift and look. Bed bugs tend to settle in close proximity to their food source: you! During the day, these nocturnal insects will disappear into crevices in mattresses, box springs, bedding, furniture, hollow bedposts, baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper. So make sure to lift and look around all possible hiding spots.
Elevate your luggage and other items. Carefully inspect the hotel’s luggage rack, and if it shows no signs of being a bed bug haven, use it to keep your suitcase off the floor and away from the bed. Also be sure to station the rack away from the wall before use to reduce the likelihood of a bed bug crawling up the wall and getting into your things.
Examine your luggage while repacking as well as after you get home, to ensure you haven’t picked up any unwelcome visitors. It’s also wise to unpack in your garage or utility room, just to be sure your items are bed-bug-free before returning them to the bedroom. Machine-dry your clothes in a hot drier to ensure no bedbugs are snuggling up in them.
Professional help for bed bug issues is out there, so use it! Because bed bugs can survive extreme temperatures (up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit), can live for over a year without food and are extremely difficult to kill, treating an infestation requires the skill of an experienced, licensed, professional pest control operator.
If you do find bed bugs contact us at 202.709.7490 to schedule an inspection.