When you’re heading out of town on a trip, you’re likely thinking about the new sights you’ll see, the delicious places you’ll eat, and the adventures you’re about to embark on. Worrying about staying somewhere with bed bugs is, understandably, the last thing on your mind, but checking your vacation hotel, motel, or rental home for a bed bug infestation might end up saving you tons of time, money, and discomfort in the long run.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep...a scenario no one wants to be faced with, whether you’re in your own bed or not. Follow the steps below to ensure these terribly invasive pests don’t hitch a ride with you when you return home from your vacation.
It’s tempting to toss your suitcase in your temporary room when you arrive and head off on your first vacation excursion, but hold off on taking your luggage inside the space until you’ve fully inspected it. Having your luggage in the room before you know it’s all clear can allow bed bugs to sneak onto your bags before you’ve realized it. If there’s no safe or reasonable spot to keep your luggage outside, be sure to put the suitcase on a luggage rack rather than the bed. Once you’ve inspected the room completely, you can unpack and start enjoying your stay.
Logically, the bed is the first place you want to inspect when you get to your vacation location. Pull back all sheets and blankets away from the mattress, and inspect all areas and seams of the mattress, box spring, and bedding. Be on the lookout for live bugs (adult bed bugs look similar to apple seeds), exoskeletons shed by the bugs, and small rust colored spots created by bites or excretions. Using the flashlight on your phone can be a handy way to be sure you’re seeing all parts of the bedding, and can also cause live bugs to move since they don’t like light.
Once you’ve made sure the sheets, mattress, and box spring are clear, it’s best to also inspect the headboard, any crevices around the bed, the areas under the bed, and even the drawers and undersides of the nightstands. There will often be signs of bed bugs in any dark spaces around a bed since these critters love dark hiding spaces.To avoid having to actually crawl under the bed, use your (phone) camera so you can inspect from afar.
Beds aren’t the only spots bed bugs can infest. Any upholstered furniture or fabric can be a potential hotbed for these pests. Check any chairs and couches, especially the seams at the head and neck areas of the furniture, and look at the area of curtains where the fabric meets the rods. Any seam, crevice, or area where fabric is bunched or gathered is worth taking a look at before you’re sure it’s clear of bed bugs.
An often unnoticed place where there can be bedbug evidence is an outlet cover. Especially in hotels, bed bugs can travel from room to room, and this usually occurs through electrical outlets. Do a quick visual inspection of these areas, just to be sure there aren’t any telltale signs of bed bug activity.
No one wants to spend their vacation worrying about bed bugs, but taking the time to complete these simple inspection steps can be a quick and easy way to prevent what could become a very stressful, lengthy, and expensive problem. If you notice any signs that bed bugs could be present in your vacation rental property or hotel, alert the rental company or hotel management immediately. If you suspect you may have brought any bedbugs home in your luggage, promptly tumble dry your clothes in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes, as the heat (not a washing machine), can kill them.
Thompson Brothers Exterminating and Waterproofing has been serving families and businesses in North Carolina and South Carolina for over 60 years, and we look forward to serving you. We are happy to provide free estimates with absolutely no obligation to you.
Thompson Brothers does an excellent job spraying my home throughout each season to keep unwanted pests out. They are locally owned and customer service is a top priority.
We had extensive water intrusion that our inspector did not see. Thompson Brothers had to engage in grading, extensive digging, reinstallation of French drains, and install a new drainage field. The work was excellent. All personnel is polite, on time, and very professional. Highly recommend.