Bedbugs are a growing and persistent problem in the United States and as summer vacations mean increased travel, these pests have even more opportunity to spread and infest your home. Not only does an encounter with bedbugs spoil a vacation, it can also make coming home a nightmare, if you bring these biting critters home as an unwanted souvenir. Here are a few tips on how to protect you and your family from bedbugs this season.
- Pack smart: Though it seems impractical, packing as many items as possible in Ziploc bags will help keep bugs out. A hard suitcase is also a safer option than a cloth, duffel bag. If you are going to be doing extensive travel and staying in several different hotels, it’s a good idea to just live out of your suitcases (and plastic bags) so you don’t give the bugs a chance to get inside your belongings.
- Look up the hotel first: Before you book a hotel, visit The Bedbug Registry to see hotels in the area you will be traveling that have had reports of bedbugs. You may also find similar reports on reviews of hotels.
- Check the room: Before you unpack or jump into a hotel bed, take a close look to be sure you don’t have any room guests. Inspect carefully, because these pests are great at hiding in tiny crevices and can be easily missed with a casual glance.
- Do a final inspection before you return home: Even if you haven’t encountered any bedbug bites, it’s a good idea to look through your items before you take your suitcase back into your home.
- Wash everything: As one final precaution, wash all of your clothes in hot water, even the ones you didn’t wear. If there are any lingering pests this stands a good chance of eliminating any stragglers.
This may sound very tedious and over paranoid, but the trouble you go through to avoid these pests, is far less than the trouble of dealing with a bedbug infestation in your home.