Are Bed Bugs Tagging Along on Your Holiday Adventures?

Are Bed Bugs Tagging Along on Your Holiday Adventures?

You’ve made your list, checked it twice, and bought a few gifts for all the nice folks on that list. It’s time to pack up all your treasures and hit the road — or the sky — for another holiday vacation.

But how do you keep bed bugs from spoiling all the joy and merriment?

  • While you’re fast asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, these flat, tiny, oval-shaped scrooges turn from brown to red as they enjoy their own Christmas feast consisting of your blood.
  • Baby bed bugs are as small as the head of a pin, while adults are about the size of an apple seed.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor — they love the taste of your blood just the same. Bed bugs can be found throughout the world, from five-star resorts, to budget motels, to Grandma’s guest room, even if she spends all day scrubbing and vacuuming and putting fresh linens on the bed.
  • And they love to travel as much as you do. Bed bugs will gladly hitch a ride on Santa’s sleigh or your car. They’ll share a seat with you on your plane, train, or bus. They can sneak inside your furniture, clothes, luggage, and gifts and make themselves right at home in your home.

Here are three helpful hints for keeping these pesky pests off your holiday guest list:

#1: Check for bed bugs upon arrival.

Bed bugs generally don’t like restrooms, so place your luggage there while you inspect the bed and surrounding areas.

Here’s what to do when checking for bed bugs:

  • Inspect the headboard, nightstand, and other furniture near the bed.
  • Pull back all bedding down to the mattress and check seams and crevices, all the way to under the box spring
  • Check folds and creases in sheets, blankets, pillows, and bedspreads.
  • If there is a luggage rack in your room, inspect it closely for signs of bed bugs.
  • What are the signs of bed bugs? You are looking for dark brown or red spots, which are signs of a bed bug infestation.
  • If you find the bugs themselves, adults will be about the size of an apple seed and appear tan, dark brown, or red in color. Babies will be about the size of the head of a pin.

If you find bed bugs, or any signs of bed bugs, notify your host or hotel staff immediately so they can address the problem right away. Ask for a different room or find a different place to stay during your visit.

#2: Store your belongings properly during your stay

Never place your luggage, clothing, or other items on the bed while staying in a hotel or at someone’s house.

  • If the luggage rack is free of bed bugs, store your suitcase on that to keep it off the floor
  • Pull the luggage rack a few inches away from the wall.
  • Place a large plastic bag over your suitcase and seal it completely while not in use.
  • Reinspect your luggage, clothing, gifts, and other items before packing up to head home.

#3: Check your belongings when you get home

Bed bugs would love to move into your house when the holidays are over. Here’s how to keep them out:

  • Place your belongings in a utility room or garage for inspection before unpacking.
  • Check each article of clothing, gifts, and all other belongings before placing them back in the closet or drawers.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect cracks and crevices in your suitcase.
  • As a precaution, wash all clothes when you get home, and dry them on the hottest dryer setting.

#4: Call a pest control service if you find bed bugs.

Don’t let their tiny size fool you. Bed bugs are strong, stubborn little creatures who can survive for up to a year without a meal — so just one annual holiday feast on your blood is all they need until next year’s decorations go up.

Because bed bugs are so hard to kill, professional treatment by a qualified pest control expert is required for bed bug removal. 

Treatment for bed bugs typically involves heating affected areas to extremely hot temperatures, and may include a powerful liquid treatment, to eliminate infestations where they occur.

Do you have questions about keeping bed bugs away from your celebration? Do you need help getting rid of bed bugs in your home or business?

If so, contact us right away at AmeriPest Solutions. We’ll make sure these unwanted guests don’t spoil your holiday fun.