How to Avoid Bringing Home Bed Bugs
Posted by Cordelia on Monday, September 13, 2010
Tips to Avoid Bed BugsBed Bug mania has been sweeping the country with lots of articles from major media outlets and on the internet. An infestation of these critters in your home is costly and frustrating. One common way of starting a bed bug infestation at home is if you stay in a hotel or hospital that has them. They piggy back on your luggage and voila; you now have a bed bug problem at home. This article covers what you can do to prevent bringing any unwanted guest home with you when you travel.

Before leaving home:
  • Check these two websites to see if there are any reported problems where you are staying: Bed Bug Registry or Bed Bug Reports.
  • Google the name of your destination and the words, “bed bugs” to see if there are any reports out there.
Note: Keep in mind that many hotels are being very proactive about treating any potential issues so just because they were reported once, does not mean that bed bugs are currently in residence.

How to pack:
  • Pack all items in resealable bags. Large bags are available at most grocery stores.
  • Carry a resealable bag large enough for your luggage itself to use in the hotel or hospital room. There are some bags which are designed for this purpose and are available online.
  • Alternately, you can use a “disposable” bag such as an inexpensive one or a second hand one that you can dispose of outside of your home before going in and keep all items inside sealed at all times.
While there:
  • Do not put luggage on the bed
  • Place it inside of a sealed bag immediately upon arriving in the room
  • Inspect the bed and furniture for visual evidence of bed bugs. Bed bugs are nocturnal so you will not see them during the day or when the lights are on. Look under mattresses, pillows, and sheets for brown stains or tiny blood stains that they leave after feeding. Most bed bugs nest within 10-15 feet of the bed.
  • If you find evidence of bed bugs asked to be moved to another room immediately
  • Store luggage as high up as you can, either on a rack or on top of the TV.
  • Keep all items including dirty laundry in sealed bags.
When coming home:
  • If you suspect any bed bugs were in the room, wash all clothes in water that is hotter than 120 degrees immediately upon arrival. (Keep items at that heat setting for 60 minutes if possible)
  • Freeze anything that cannot be heated for two weeks
  • Dispose of anything that was not sealed before entering the house
  • Take all dry clean items to the cleaner without removing them from the sealed bag they are stored in
If you’ve taken these precautions, you can rest assured that you most likely have not brought any unwanted visitors home with you on your trip.

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