Pest control companies that rarely heard of bed bugs cases years ago are now getting multiple calls a week of newly exposed infestations in all major and minor cities in the U.S. The problem is only getting worse, exponentially worse, as a matter of fact.
Here are a few tips to avoid these little hitchhikers when traveling:
- When you check into your hotel, ask the front desk attendant if they've had evidence of bed bugs in the hotel or any rooms, specifically the room you are staying in. Legally they need to be disclose that and tell you if any rooms have recently seen activity or if they've been treated.
- When you enter your room, don't put your luggage on the bed or on the floor. This is perhaps the biggest mistake everyone makes. Instead, first put your belongings in the bath tub (bed bugs can't climb porcelain very well). This will give you enough time to go to the bed and pull the sheets off the head of the bed. Look at the seam of the mattress and box spring to see if there is any evidence of bed bugs, fecal stains (small black dots), or blood stains. If you see any of these three... grab your luggage and get out!
- If you don't see any evidence of bed bugs in the room, it doesn't necessarily mean that bed bugs aren't in your living quarters. Next, take a blow dryer and put it on the highest setting and blow cracks along the headboard, box spring, mattress, dresser, baseboards, and other cracks to see if any bed bugs will come out. Bed bugs, once again, are attracted to heat. Too much heat will actually kill them. If you see even one bed bug, get a new room or better yet, a new hotel.
By following these three simple steps, you'll save yourself hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars if you bring bed bugs home. If, unfortunately, you bring them home, you will need to have your house professionally treated. They will never just go away. Some studies reported findings of bed bugs living without feeding for up to 18 months! Sleep tight and, of course, "don't let the bed bugs bite".