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How To Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

2017-09-07

Bed bugs can be an alarming nuisance to deal with, especially while traveling. Though bed bugs are not known to transmit or spread disease, their bites can itch and cause irritation, and they are considered to be public health pests by major international health and environmental organizations.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an increase in bed bug infestations in the US beginning in the mid-1990s has been attributed in part to increased international travel and movement of infested items. Even the most recognizable names in hospitality are susceptible to bed bugs. However, there are several steps travelers can take to spot bed bugs in their lodging and avoid bringing them home.

 

Know How To Identify Bed Bugs

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), bed bugs are small in size, about 4-7 mm long with flat, oval-shaped bodies. They are usually red or brown in color. Feed on the blood of human hosts usually at night often makes them swell and become a bright red color after. Bed bugs cannot fly, but can be transported from place to place on objects, people, or animals.

 

Know Where To Look

Bed bugs often hide around the bed, including in, around, and under mattresses and box springs, and in the cracks of bed frames and headboards. The EPA says that the best way to spot a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs, such as:

  • Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses from crushed bugs

  • Bed bug excrements, which show up as small, dark spots on bedware

  • Eggs and eggshells, which look like tiny, pale yellow pieces of skin

  • Live bed bugs

 

Take Precautions

Inspecting the room you will be staying in is the easiest way to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you after traveling. Start by checking the bed and bedware. It is also a good idea to check other furniture in the room. Try to keep your luggage away from the bed, and preferably on a luggage rack if there is one while staying in a hotel room (check the rungs of the luggage rack before storing your luggage as bed bugs can be hiding there too!).

 

After you have returned home from traveling, it is recommended that you unpack your clothing directly into a washing machine. Be sure dry your clothes at a high temperature to kill any unwanted guests that may have traveled with you, as washing alone cannot kill bed bugs. Finally, do not store your luggage near your bed or other furniture. We recommend storing it in a garage.

All of this may sound gross and scary. But taking these simple precautions can help you avoid a truly gross and scary experience while traveling. Always remember to report bed bugs or signs of bed bugs to your hotel or apartment management. While this blog does not mean that Ginosi Apartels is currently experiencing a bed bug problem, we do go to great lengths to keep them and other pests out of our apartments. Our housekeeping staff and operations team is trained to spot bed bugs before infestations spread, and we work with professional pest control services at all our locations to clean our apartments and get rid of any unwanted pests.

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