Summer has arrived and it’s finally time to head out on vacation. You may have heard about the resurgence of bed bugs nationwide and might be a little weary of staying in a hotel or even having your luggage mixed with other suitcases on the plane. The last thing that you want to do is get bitten or bring home these unwanted pests.
Essential Travel Items to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation
Don’t let the fear of bed bugs stop you from enjoying your trip. You just have to be cautious to avoid bed bugs. Here is a list of five essential items for traveling bed bug free:
- Suitcase Cover: Suitcase covers are designed to keep your luggage safe from bed bugs. The covers are made of a lightweight polyester weave. They usually feature an allergen-proof polyurethane membrane that is not only water-resistant but bug proof. The cover stretches to accommodate even a large, over-sized bag. Simply slip your bag into the suitcase cover to give your belongings the ultimate protection. A bonus is that the cover looks nice and no one will guess you are trying to protect your suitcase from a possible bed bug infestation.
- Travel Bed Bug Spray: Travel-sized bottles of bug spray are great for protection on the go. There are numerous options available including Proof- a plant-based alternative to toxic synthetic bed bug sprays that can be used on your clothing, luggage, or in your hotel room to ensure your belongings are safe from bed bugs.
- Flashlight: Bed bugs are sneaky. They hide during the day making them difficult to detect when you arrive at your destination. Even if the room looks immaculate, bed bugs could be waiting to emerge in the night. With a flashlight, check under the bed, behind the headboard, along the baseboard, behind photos, inside electronic clocks, at the seams of wallpaper and any other possible hiding spot in the hotel room. The beam from the flashlight will help you see any adult bugs, nymphs, and eggs clearly.
- Ziplock Bags: Pack your clothing in ziplock bags inside of your suitcase for added protection. This will prevent any bed bugs that manage to get in your suitcase from nesting within your clothing and as a bonus, helps keep you organized.
- Clothing Choices: Ideally, you should only pack clothes that can be washed in hot water and dried on a high setting. After your trip, put your clothes through the wash immediately to remove any possible bed bugs. Washing and drying your clothes on high will kill the bed bugs, eggs, or nymphs. Remember, a single pregnant female can easily create an entire thriving colony.
What to Do if You are Bitten by Bed Bugs on Your Vacation
If the unthinkable happens and you wake up covered in bed bug bites, use an antibacterial soap to prevent a possible infection and apply hydrocortisone cream. You should pack up your belongings and take them to a laundromat for a thorough wash and dry to kill any bed bugs before changing hotel rooms or returning home.
When to Call an Exterminator or Treat for Bed Bugs
If you continue to have bites or notice signs of a bed bug infestation when you return home from your trip, you should call an exterminator or begin DIY treatments immediately. Early detection and treatment are essential to catching the infestation before it grows.
Bed bugs are a nuisance and a concern, but they should not keep you from enjoying a fun-filled vacation. With a few precautions, you should have no trouble avoiding these pests.
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