It is summer time and most of us go on vacation during that time. To minimize the risk of encountering bed bugs during your vacation and avoiding bringing these unwanted travel partners back home, here are some important tips to follow:
1. Prior to departure, check out bed bugs registry such as BedBugRegistry.com and HotelChatter.com to see if your hotel has been infested.
2. Keep all luggage pieces and carry-on bags off the floors and beds and out of the closets. Instead put them in the bathtub and hang clothes on the shower pole if possible, rather than hanging them in the closet.
Why the bathroom, you may ask?
Bed bugs don’t like smooth surface such as bathtubs. Bed bugs have a hard time crawling up the smooth walls of the bathtubs. They also do not like tile floors – again because of the smooth surfaces – but also because there are not many hiding places on those surfaces.
Bed bugs tend to hide close to you, their food supply, so they will be found where you sleep or rest.
Even after checking the room thoroughly, try to keep most of your belongings in the bathtub.
Why? Because bed bugs travel easily from room to room looking for a meal if the neighboring rooms are unoccupied for a while.
3. So, before settling into your room, conduct a thorough inspection of it . Look first in the most obvious areas such as the mattress and box spring for live specimen, blood spots, cast skins or brown spots. Be thorough and check the piping pulling up, then down as the bed bugs love to hide under the bit of loose fabric of the piping.
Lift up the mattress and then lift up the box springs too. Check the edge of the box spring and pull the edge of the dust cover all along the edge of the box spring, Bed bugs love those dark and tight places.
Then check behind the headboard and the picture above the head board.
Next check the nightstand (and behind it too) and of course the armchairs and couches.
Make sure to lift up the cushions and check deep in the crevices and “armpits” of the couches and armchairs. Look again at the piping and any folds in the fabric of those pieces of furniture. Also, push down on those folds as it will disturb any bed bugs and cause them to escape out of the folds.
Don’t forget to check the back as well as under the armchairs and proceed to check to edges of the dust cover the same way as described above with the box springs.
Finally, check the luggage rack thoroughly. There could be bed bugs lurking there, ready to take a hike..
4. Another word of advice: Check out the rental car as well and ask the rental companies about the specifics of their bed bug prevention program.