HOW TO TRAVEL WITHOUT BED BUGS
For a lot of people, Christmas time is a time that would be well spent if it is with family. They travel back to their hometowns to visit family and friends, or they travel with their family and friends to other places either domestic or international just to experience other cultures.
Amidst the fun and excitement of travel, there are many things that travelers have to be wary of. Thieves and robbers, for one, will always be around whichever country you are in. And do you know that inside the luxurious 5-star hotels, there are dangers that lurk too? They are called bed bugs, tiny insects that suck blood from animals and humans.
Yes, travel is identified as one of the biggest reasons why bed bugs have spread. That is why it is in this season that sprayer in my area for bed bugs, the Go-Forth Pest Control, would like to give you some additional tips on how to best avoid bed bugs.
Before we proceed with that, let us learn how to identify bed bugs and its signs. Another reason why bed bugs have spread is the lack of information about them. As the legendary Chinese general Sun-Tzu once said, “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself and not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” So there, wise words from a great war tactician. If we are to wage war against bed bugs, we better heed his advice.
Description of bed bugs
Bed bugs are tiny insects – they are the size of an apple seed – that is oval in shape, and are brownish in color. They have flat bodies that bloat and turn red after having a blood meal. Bed bugs can move quickly. You would initially find them on your bed where they can be close to a host, but next thing you know they are on the couch, on the walls, inside cracks and crevices, and on floors. This usually happens when there is already a heavy infestation. Bed bugs do not fly though and can only crawl their way to these spaces.
Bed bugs are nocturnal, they bite people when they are asleep. When they bite, they pierce the skin with their elongated beaks. As they bite they inject anesthesia which is why their bites are painless and we do not wake up to their bites. However, these bites would eventually turn up as itchy welts later on.
The adult female bed bugs can lay as many as a hundred eggs in their lifetime. That is why getting rid of them as soon as possible is very important, because they can soon spread into uncontrollable numbers.
High health risk pests
Bed bugs are considered a high health risk by 3 different government agencies. These are the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Disease Control. There are cases of bed bugs causing insomnia, stress, anxiety, and even depression. Fortunately, they do not transmit diseases like their fellow household pests like mosquitoes, roaches, and flies.
Many people who find bed bugs in their homes report cases of insomnia. Insomnia is when a person cannot sleep, or is easily roused from sleep and never able to go back to it.
People get stressed out when they lack sleep. Stress is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a physical, mental, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental factors in disease causation.” People also find it very difficult to function under stress, both at work and at home. Signs of stress include headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, neck ache, backache, cold and sweaty hands or feet, constipation, diarrhea, either feeling of wanting to eat more or loss of diet, frequent urination, diminished sexual desire, anxiety, and depression.
Signs that you have bed bugs at home
Signs of their presence include a sweet musty odor on your bed; blood-filled fecal matter excreted on your mattress; exoskeletons from the bed bugs after molting; red spots on your mattress that are probably crushed bed bugs that you inadvertently crushed while you slept. You might also see bed bugs in the folds of the mattresses.
We cannot count on bed bug bites to help us prevent their spread. Their bites would jot show up until about 1 to 2 weeks after, by which time it would be too late. They would have spread around the house already.
These signs are also what you will have to look for when you are traveling and staying in a hotel.
Modern technology has allowed more and more people to travel to different places. As they say, the world is a much smaller place right now. People have set aside part of their income to go to different countries, as we can all see from many different Instagram accounts. “Instagrammable” places, as Millenials put it. But travel also entails risks.
One risk is getting those bed bugs from hotels or motels you are going to stay in. Keep in mind that even 5-star hotels have bed bugs too. So keep in mind those things to bring to avoid bed bugs when traveling.
Invest in a suitcase with hard sides. Such a suitcase would not give them hiding places that they can latch on since bed bugs are good at hitchhiking. They would also simply slide through it. Wrap your suitcase in plastic for added protection, especially if you cannot bring a hard-sided suitcase. One thing we can also suggest is you can also bring with you a large garbage bag, one that your suitcase can fit in. While traveling, put your suitcase inside the garbage bag as protection from bed bugs. It may not be pretty to look at, but at least you are protected.
When you get to your hotel, the next best thing to do in your hotel room is to inspect it thoroughly for bed bugs. Inspect the bed, the mattress, the chairs, the couch, carpets, curtains, under the television, and under the phone. It could be so much hard work, but it would be all worth it. They are nocturnal, so they would definitely turn up in the dark. Turn off the lights to trick the bed bugs into going out. Bring a flashlight with you every time you travel and use this flashlight to inspect for bed bugs in the dark. When you see something that resembles a bug, inform the hotel staff at once. They are very small, but your eyes can still spot them.
You can also wear long pants and long-sleeved sleeping attire. This can at least limit the chances of bed bugs getting to your skin.
For those of you who are frequent travelers, you may try investing in a sleeping bag liner. At least, you are sure that what you are going to sleep on is clean, since you were the one who brought it in the first place. This would also help you keep other insects, like mosquitoes and cockroaches.
Do your research. Read some of the reviews on ‘The Bed Bug Registry”, just to have an idea. However, these are reviews not made by professionals, so some accountability could be missing here.
No matter how careful you are, there would be instances when the bed bugs might just be able to sneak in your clothes, or your suitcase, bringing them home with you. If that is the case, then you should do everything you can to eliminate them.
Ways to Eliminate Bed Bugs in your House
Once you see the signs mentioned above, it is time to take action immediately. Bed bugs would be very difficult to get rid of once they spread. They could even transfer to your next-door neighbor. Here are some tips on how to eliminate them.
- To kill the bed bugs, wash your clothes, mattress, and linen in hot, soapy water. After washing, dry using a dryer and place it on its maximum setting. Do this for 30 minutes.
- Use diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossilized remains of diatoms. They work by inflicting tiny cuts to the insect’s body, causing it to bleed and die eventually. You may buy diatomaceous earth from a gardening store near you.
- Vacuum places where you suspect bed bugs. Use it on your bed, couch, furniture, on cracks and crevices, etc.
- If you live in an apartment, it is best to inform your landlord. Let them handle it. They will be the ones to contact the pest control pros. There is a danger that the bed bugs might spread to the other units.
If the infestation has become too heavy, let the pros handle it. If you want the best pest control professionals in North Carolina, call Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control
Go-Forth Pest Control has been around for 60 years, providing excellent pest control services to residents and businesses in North Carolina. We have expert professionals who can handle pest problems such as bed bugs, mosquitoes, termites, roaches, flies, and many others.
Call us now!