5 Steps to Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Home on Your Next Trip

bed bug on skinThere has a n increase in bed bugs throughout the United States in the last twenty years. There was a time when bed bugs were nearly eradicated in the United States. However due to the increased amount of travel, the incidence of bed bugs is increasing. The most common way to get bed bugs is to bring them home from the hotel with you. Here are five steps you can take to prevent bed bugs.

1. Inspect Your Hotel Room

Before you unpack or do anything, check your hotel room for signs of bed bugs. Start by looking along the headboard for signs of bed bugs which include the bugs, the droppings or shed skins of bed bugs. This will appear as small black dots.  Check your bedding as well, although this should be changed and it is not as likely to see them on the bedding.

2. Protect Your Suitcase

Keep your suitcase away from the bed. Use the luggage holding rack in your room to keep your suitcase off the floor and away from the furniture. You can also put your suitcase inside of a garbage bag once you have unpacked or when you are not using it as an added means of protection from the bed bugs. This will prevent the bed bugs from crawling into your suitcase and catching a ride home.

3. Keep Luggage and Other Items Closed

Keep any other bags you bring with such as your purse or backpacks away from the furniture as well. This includes the bed as well as any upholstered furniture. If you place them on the furniture or floor, you are more likely to pick up an unwelcome guest for the trip home.

4. Check Your Suitcase Before You Leave

As you are packing to leave be sure to thoroughly check your suitcase and any items you are packing for bed bugs. Be extra careful if you notice any unexplained bites that you have received during the trip. This safety check can help you identify if you need to take extra steps before you get home.

5. Treat Your Items When You Get Home

As a precaution, you can treat the items when you get home. Run your clothes through the hot water cycle and high heat on the dryer. This could kill all the bed bugs and their larvae. You can also treat the luggage with a special luggage heater. If you know that you do have bed bugs in the luggage, you may choose to dispose of the luggage and start fresh because the cost of luggage is usually less than treating your entire house. If you do end up bringing bed bugs home, you should take the steps to treat them. It can be difficult to treat them on your own because they hide in small cracks and it can be difficult to find their nests. A professional can treat the bed bugs with either chemicals or heat. Contact the professional at EcoTek to learn more about the bed bug treatments available.