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Holiday Travel Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs

Jacksonville, FL pest control provider, Turner Pest Control, reminds holiday travelers to look out for bed bugs this holiday season. Although bed bugs are not known to spread disease, they are notoriously difficult to eradicate and they are great travelers. They can easily hitch a ride home in your luggage.

Your best bet to avoid bringing home these unwelcome guests is to have a prevention plan in place before your trip.

Here are some tips for travelers:

Preparing for your trip

  • Use hard-cased luggage if possible. It is more difficult for bed bugs to attach to rigid materials than to fabric.
  • Pack your clothing in re-sealable plastic bags. Plastic bags are available in up to 22-gallon sizes in hardware and other stores. Bring extra bags in a variety of sizes for items you buy on your trip.
  • Pack a small, bright flashlight to inspect your room when you arrive.
  • Don’t spray insect repellent or other pesticides on your luggage or clothing. They aren’t effective against bed bugs, and they may pose health hazards.

Inspecting your room

  • Look for bed bugs or bed bug markings.
  • Place your luggage on a hard elevated surface – not on the floor, and not on upholstered furniture.
  • Examine beds and box springs by pulling up the sheets at the corners and sides. Check mattress tufts and seams for bed bugs and their markings.
  • Do a quick check of pillows and upholstered furniture for signs of bed bugs.
  • If you can, check behind headboards and open the drawers of the nightstands and look inside.
  • For short stays, consider keeping your clothes in your luggage. Keep bags closed when not in use.
  • If you find signs of bed bugs, tell the manager right away, and demand another room.

Coming home

  • Unpack your luggage in the bathroom against light-colored surfaces so you can easily see if a pest has hitched a ride. Shake out clothing in a bathtub or shower.
  • Check your luggage carefully. Examine seams, pockets and straps. As a precaution, you can vacuum using an attachment that reaches into crevices. Empty the vacuum or seal and dispose of its bag outside of your home.
  • Wash all clothing immediately as you normally would. If you suspect bed bugs, launder washable items in hot water and dry on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes. Dry cleaning and steam cleaning will kill bed bugs in fabrics (including soft luggage) that can’t be washed and dried at high settings.

If you think you have bed bugs, it is best to call a professional. A trained professional can identify and confirm the presence of bed bugs and advise appropriate treatments based on the severity of your infestation.

Safe travels and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

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