Sunday, January 13, 2013
Avoiding Bed Bugs While Traveling by Lacy D.
I’ve been traveling across the country and staying in hotel rooms consistently for the last 7 years. My biggest fear is not a terrorist on the plane or getting lost in an unfamiliar city...it’s bed beg infestation. In an effort to prevent any contact with bed bugs I have done extensive research and take precautionary measures when traveling.
First, a few fun facts about bed bugs. They are tiny insects that crave your blood and can be anywhere - offices, hotels, your home...clean or unclean conditions. They are not poisonous and are not known to transmit disease. Their bites are like mosquito bites and the itching can easily be treated with topical ointments. Their appearance looks similar to an apple seed - flat, reddish brown, oval
Orkin Pest Control offers a very simple traveling guide to help avoid taking bed bugs home with you. Think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps:
(S)urvey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
(L)ift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard, and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day, they are most likely found within a 5-foot radius of the bed. Look specifically for fecal matter which is very similar to the appearance of pepper.
(E)levate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind head boards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
(E)xamine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom at home.
(P)lace all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
I take protection to the next level with a few travel tools that I refer to as "peace of mind products." The first one is "Rest Easy" environmentally friendly spray to kill and repel bed bugs. Next is my trusty "Sleep Sack." This is a satin sleeping bag. I cozy up in it and pull the hotel sheets and comforter to my knees. Both products are available at "Bed Bath and Beyond." A website I find very useful is www.bedbugregistry.com You can type in the city and state and you will see a full list of hotels with bed bugs as well as their official reports from people. Bed Bug Registry also has an iPhone app to make research even more simple.
If you have been attacked by bed bugs and they have infested your home call pest control immediately. You want to catch them early as they reproduce quickly.
Posted by P. Owen at 7:15 AM