By Thorn Team • Jul 13th 2023
Nothing is worse than knowing you slept in a bed with biting, nasty bed bugs. When you travel, remember these bed bug traveling tips from your experts at Thorn. So that your vacation can stay a vacation.
Summer is a beautiful time to travel, explore new places, and visit favorite vacation spots.
Perhaps you enjoy taking the train to the coast to relax to the sounds of the seashore and read a classic novel. Maybe your plans include flying abroad and exploring a city you’ve never visited. If your time is limited, a small staycation at a local resort could be what you need to rest, rejuvenate, and enjoy the warmer temperatures.
Whatever your favorite vacation, nothing ruins it as quickly as bed bugs. Wherever and whenever you go, here are some tips and strategies for preventing bed bugs from ruining your summer adventure from the experts at Thorn in Utah.
Bed bug prevention starts with preparation for your trip. Before you select and pay for your hotel, take time to read online reviews carefully. Several websites for bed bug sightings exist, so consult the reviews to avoid unwanted surprises in the future.
Invest in hard-shelled suitcases. Bed bugs can’t find their way into plastic as easily as they can sneak onto fabric. Hard-shelled suitcases offer protection by creating less area for bed bugs to cling to. Be aware that the bugs can land in your suitcase if left open, and fabric zippers and seams are still vulnerable to a bed bug invasion.
Utilize large, sealable plastic bags to protect your suitcases, backpacks, and other cloth-based accessories. Pack a few with you to bring the optimal line of defense!
Bed bugs are small oval-shaped, reddish-brown bugs with six legs and antennae. While small, their distinct color can stand out easily against white and beige mattresses.
If you don’t see bed bugs themselves, there are still other signs to check. Look for rust-colored marks bed bugs leave behind when they feed on humans and eggs or egg husks. Bed bug eggs are tiny and pearly white — don’t dismiss anything as dust or dandruff without a thorough inspection. Either of these signs are indications of an infestation.
Of course, a sure way to know if you have a bed bug infestation is if you wake up covered in insect bites. By looking for the above signs and following the rest of our tips, hopefully, it doesn’t come to that! If you do encounter bed bugs on your trip, you can take measures to ensure they don’t come home with you.
Whether it’s a seat on a train or your hotel mattress, closely inspect any fabric you intend to sit or lay on during your journey. While bed bugs are named after their preferred place of occupancy, they can inhabit any material that provides an abundant food source.
Bed bugs infest trains or airplanes by hitching rides on luggage. Inspect the seats of your train or airplane for signs of bugs, and request a change if necessary. They often hide in the cracks and crevices of fabric seams and the seat back pockets, so be thorough to avoid bringing the infestation to an unsuspecting hotel room.
When you first check into your hotel, leave your suitcase in the bathroom or outside the room on the luggage rack. This will prevent your personal belongings from becoming contaminated if you notice signs of bed bugs.
Pull back the sheets and inspect your mattress thoroughly. Look for the signature rusty red stains and eggs or egg shells. Take out your flashlight and look behind the headboard to see if there are any of these signs up against the wall. Finally, check any fabric chairs and couches before sitting in them.
Store any dirty clothing in sealed plastic bags throughout your trip. Bed bugs are attracted to the odor of dirty clothes, so keeping them in sealed plastic coverings is your best defense.
If you do notice signs of a bed bug infestation, don’t panic. The easiest thing is to request a new room, but make sure it is not beside, above, or below the one you are leaving.
Upon returning home, inspect your luggage for signs of bed bugs before bringing it inside your home. Take extra care with seams and exterior pockets, as bed bugs love to hide out in hard-to-reach areas.
Wash all the clothes from your trip (even the clean ones) in hot water. 120° water is the ideal temperature for killing any bugs and eggs. Once your suitcase is empty, apply heat from a handheld steamer or hairdryer. This works similarly to your washer to kill any potential invaders.
If you believe you’ve picked up bed bugs, you can do some things to treat an infestation. First, remove all belongings and store them in sealed bags. You can clean items individually after you’ve taken care of your mattress, carpets, and other upholstery items.
Vacuum your mattress, seal the waste bags, and immediately dispose of them in an outdoor trash unit. Take a steamer to your mattress, carpets, furniture, and walls to apply heat that can kill the bugs and eggs.
Seal your mattress with a plastic, zippered mattress protector for at least a year. Doing so won’t allow bugs in or out of your bed, and it will cut off their food supply, ending your infestation.
At Thorn Pest Solutions, we understand that bed bug infestations can be highly stressful. If you find yourself sharing your home with these unwanted visitors, we are happy to help you get rid of them.
We can inspect your home to confirm an infestation and apply science-backed treatments to rid your house bed bugs. We can also help you with future prevention and provide training to business and hospitality teams. Together we can work to keep bed bugs out of your travel plans for good!
Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.