The holidays are a popular time for people to travel, whether for leisure and luxury, or to visit family members.
If you are planning a trip in the coming months, you may be asking yourself how you can avoid one pesky and invited traveling partner—bed bugs. You may think if you’re traveling fairly locally in Ohio you can avoid bed bugs, but in fact, they’re on the rise in many cities throughout the state, and other locations in the Midwest region of the country.
Here are our top 5 tips for ensuring you don’t return home with anything more than souvenirs:
1.Research Your Accommodations
Luckily for travelers, the Internet is a huge resource that can help you with everything from booking a plane ticket to a hotel. Along with that convenience is the fact that you can also research hotels before making any plans. Look into where you’re thinking about staying and see if there are any bed bug infestations reported by other guests. You can also utilize the Bed Bug Registry, which is a free database available to the public that will alert you of whether or not your potential hotel has had a bed bug problem.
2.Choose Luggage Carefully
Before you leave for any trip, think about the luggage you’re bringing. The best kind of luggage for avoiding bed bugs is a hard shell bag, because there’s not so many soft crevices and folds where little bugs can hide. You can also place your belongings in sealed plastic bags, so even if you do encounter bed bugs along the way, they’re not as likely to hitch a ride back home with you.
3.Do An Inspection
Before traveling, whether for the holidays or any other time of year, you should always inspect your hotel room when you get there. Even if a room seems outwardly clean, it doesn’t mean there isn’t the potential for bed bugs to be present. Look for signs like shed skins or black fecal matter not just in the sheets, but on the floor around the bed, the headboard, and even around the other furnishings or accessories in your room.
4.Elevate Your Belongings
Even if you do a thorough bed bug inspection upon arriving at your hotel, and you don’t see any red flags, you should still take precautions. One such precaution is to keep your luggage, clothes and belongings off the floor. When you put your items on the floor of a hotel room, it makes it all too easy for critters to climb in and make themselves at home. Use the luggage storage racks that are provided in many hotels, or you can even put your belongings on a closet shelf or on top of the bathroom counter.
5.Inspect At Home
Once you arrive home, even if you think you’ve avoided any bed bug encounters, you should still do a thorough inspection of everything you brought. Make sure you go through your suitcase outside of your home, in case there’s anything lurking in there.
If you do find any bed bugs, contact a qualified pest control provider immediately, to avoid further infestation.