Protect Yourself from Bed Bugs during Holiday Travel

The holiday season is upon us and many of us will be traveling out of town to celebrate with family and friends. Before you leave your home, be sure to know the facts about bed bugs and how you can protect you and your family so these tiny little bugs don’t ruin your holiday fun!

What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long (5-9 mm).bedbugmp

Is there really a huge outbreak?
Bed bugs have made a comeback in the United States over the last few years. The largest outbreaks have been reported in large cities with high rates of tourism.

Where are bed bugs typically found?
Bed bugs are most frequently found in hotels. They travel by hitching rides with unsuspecting guests by crawling into clothing and luggage. All hotels are susceptible to bed bugs – from motels to five-star resorts.

What can I do to protect myself?
When checking into a hotel room or after visiting guests have left your home, you can perform a simple bed bug inspection of the room.

    1. Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
    2. Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
    3. Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
    4. Contact Guest Services immediately if you’ve found any signs of bed bugs during your inspection.

If I suspect I was in a room with bed bugs, what should I do when I return home?

    1. Isolate the items in your travel bags from other items in your home – the garage is a great place.
    2. Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
    3. After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
    4. Check all luggage before storing it away.  Vacuum out luggage and clean the exterior surface.

What if I  have guests staying in my home?

When welcoming family and friends into your home who have been staying in hotels or on a cruise ship, be aware that bed bugs may have hitched a ride with them.  After your guests leave, carefully inspect guest rooms for any signs of bed bugs.  Wash all bed linens as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or would like a free, professional bed bug inspection, please contact Massey Services.  Have a Happy (bed bug-free) Thanksgiving!