It is becoming more and more common to hear about someone dealing with bed bug troubles. At best, these blood-eating insects are traumatizing as their presence becomes undeniable and the bites increase. At worst, these insects have driven some people to take drastic measures at the cost of physical property and human lives. The greatest tragedy is that bed bugs can be prevented if you know what to look for and what to do. If you're planning on traveling during this holiday season, please consider taking this bed bug tip sheet along with you.
Never assume you will be staying somewhere safe. Bed bugs can and do live anywhere they can get a blood meal. That means they can be at a 5-star hotel or your mom and dad's house.
Always inspect the place you will be sleeping. Check bed seams and corners for black fecal residue. Check sheets for light brown urine stains, black streaks, rust-colored insect casings, dark brown blood stains, and the bed bugs themselves.
Be familiar with what a bed bug looks like and know that in their larval stage these bugs can be as small as the tip of a pen.
Be aware that bed bugs don't just live in beds. They can be in couches, chairs, backboards, baseboards on walls, inside outlets, and inside other electronics. Look for black streaks and shed casings on or near these items.
Be aware that bed bugs don't just live in bedrooms. They have been found in movie theaters, libraries, and other public places.
Know that bed bugs can feed on humans who are fully awake. The anesthetic and anticoagulant they use to extract blood make their bites gentle enough to allow these bugs to extract blood from the face of a sleeping human, without waking them. That is why bed bugs have been found in taxi cabs, buses, train, and planes. Always look for black sticky fecal deposits, streak marks, blood staining, and bugs. This evidence will be easiest to see in the stitching of an upholstered seat.
When you return home, even if you didn't see any evidence of bed bugs during your trip, make sure to wash all your clothing and bedding on the hottest temperature. This will kill all stages of bed bugs, especially eggs.
An infestation can start with one batch of eggs. Bed bug eggs do not need the mother to hatch. If they are tucked in your luggage, pocketbook, or clothing, you are in for a nightmare.
Knowing the signs of bed bugs and where to look can save you from picking up an infestation. If you have recently returned from a trip and you didn't keep a watch for bed bugs, call a professional like our experts here at Witt and schedule an inspection.
The holiday season is when bed bugs travel most. Don't let these bugs catch you off guard. All it takes is a quick check here and there to keep these disturbing bugs from hitching a ride home to your house. Stay safe and have fun.