Passport, credit cards, sensible shoes, camera—you’ve got everything you need for your big getaway, right? Maybe not. If you want to be sure that the only things you bring home from your travels are souvenirs, then a bed bug prevention plan is key. Read along and we’ll show you some easy ways to avoid bringing bed bugs into your Bronx, NY, home after your trip, and we’ll explain when it’s time to call a bed bug exterminator.
If you are adventuring abroad, chances are you will be checking into a hotel, motel, or rental home. No matter how stylish, clean, and updated the place may seem, many of these lodgings frequently harbor bed bugs. Before you settle in to your temporary travel home, follow these tips to ensure the space is free of bed bugs.
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Thoroughly Inspect the Room
Before you unpack, look behind the headboard of the bed, pull back the sheets, look under the mattress, and check behind chairs and furniture. Leave your luggage outside the room as you do this, if possible, and if there are any signs of infestation, switch rooms—or even hotels if you can. Bed bugs travel by hitching a ride on your luggage or clothes, so limit the amount of time you’re in the room before you are certain it’s free of bed bugs.
Secure Your Suitcase in Plastic
Even if you don’t see signs of bed bugs in your hotel room, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. To be certain you don’t bring any new “friends” home, keep your suitcase under wraps. Also consider keeping shoes, purses, jackets, and other items wrapped in plastic just to be safe.
Related: Bed Bug Control: 4 Facts You Didn’t Know About Bed Bugs
Wash Up at Home
When you return home from your travels, unpack your suitcase in full, bright light and inspect everything that you can. Do this in an area preferably away from your house or apartment, such as on a back patio or an outdoor laundry room. Wash all of your clothes (even ones you didn’t wear) on the highest heat setting to kill any possible eggs or bed bugs that might have hitched a ride. Vacuum and steam clean your luggage and any non-clothing items that went with you as well to make sure any possible bed bugs or eggs are killed.
When to Call a Bed Bug Exterminator
If you keep these tips and precautions in mind when you are traveling, chances are you’ll return home safely bug-free. However, even the most thorough and careful traveler may still end up bringing some new tiny residents home. Bites, dander, and sightings of actual bed bugs in and around your bed are a surefire way to know that it’s time to call the pros.
Bed bug extermination is best left up to professionals. Ridding your home of all furniture and belongings alone won’t solve the problem, since bed bug problems often lie within crevices and walls. Don’t despair; with guidance and care from a professional bed bug exterminator, you’ll be able to rest assured that bed bugs won’t call your new space home for long.