Bed bugs may not be as bad as your in-laws, but at least with these insects there are things that you can do to avoid bringing them home while traveling. Below is a list of steps that you can take to prevent them becoming part of your extended family:
Check Online Reviews for Hotels
Look at websites or reviews that discuss bed bug activity in hotels that you are interested in staying at. A good hotel quickly addresses any bad reviews and takes steps with their pest control company to eliminate issues in their rooms. Every hotel could have bed bugs, but you just want to stay at one that is actively preventing them and is taking it seriously.
The Bathtub is a Safe Place
Bed bugs will move into your luggage and travel back to your home. When entering a hotel room don’t put your luggage on the bed or the luggage rack. Put it in the bathtub! Out of all the places where bed bugs might be, this is the one spot that you will almost never find them. Initially keeping your luggage here will allow you to safely inspect the room and bed. If nothing is found, then be sure to move the luggage before taking a shower the next day!
Inspect the Bed
You can use the light on your phone when inspecting the bed frame, mattress and box spring. You will want to look for any live bed bugs or dark spots on the mattress or box spring. The dark spots could be signs of fecal material from current or old bed bugs. Bed bugs often cluster around the box spring and bed frame near the pillows because of the heat and carbon dioxide given off by their victims. Keep in mind, bed bugs can be anywhere in the room and able to travel amazingly fast
over carpet when they are hungry.
Stop by the Drugstore Before Going to the Hotel
Alcohol is good for bed bugs! Okay, we are not talking about ethanol but rather rubbing alcohol (isopropanol). 91% Rubbing Alcohol kills bed bugs, including their eggs, on contact. It is a great option to be able to spray your luggage before heading home in case a bed bug is hiding in the seams of the luggage. Be sure to not over do any treatments as Rubbing Alcohol is not something you want to breathe, and it can damage some textiles and furniture.
When You Get Home, Unpack Wisely
Follow the same procedures at home of putting your luggage in the bathtub first. Remove and launder all clothing right away. Wash the dirty laundry but clean laundry can be run through a dryer on high for 30 min thereby killing any potential critters. Retreat the luggage with Rubbing Alcohol and then move the luggage to where you
would normally store it.
Following these simple steps will greatly reduce the chance of you bringing home another mouth to feed this holiday season!