Imagine your dream vacation. Are you relaxing on the beach during the day and experiencing the very best in local cuisine at night?
Or are you more of an adventurer exploring all that our beautiful National Parks have to offer?
Maybe an all-inclusive cruise through the Caribbean is more your style.
However you get away, one of the fastest ways to ruin a vacation is by picking up bed bugs from a hotel room or cruise cabin.
What’s even worse is having a great vacation with your family, only to come home and realize you brought more than souvenirs back with you.
Research Before You Go
The first thing you’ll want to do before you stay anywhere is to do your research.
The difference between a good vacation and a terrible vacation could be one night spent with bed bugs.
Hotels, Airbnbs, bed and breakfasts, motels, hostels, and even cruise cabins can all pose a risk because bed bugs like to be where the people are.
Lookup reviews for the accommodation on Google and its social media profiles, and check for any recent or recurring mentions of bed bugs.
Tip: You can search faster on the review page by pressing Control+F and typing in “bed bugs.” Then hope nothing comes up!
Don’t assume a place is free of bugs just because it’s world-class.
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs don’t care if you’re staying in a dirty roadside motel or a meticulous five-star retreat. As long as there are people, bed bugs will make themselves at home.
Even the nicest homes can still have bed bugs lurking somewhere inside.
Check Your Place for Bed Bugs
Don’t judge a book by its cover — like we mentioned earlier, even world-class places can have bed bugs if the conditions are right.
Look through each room as soon as you arrive.
Pull the sheets off of the mattresses to inspect the seams and areas a person would sleep. You should also check the bed frame and headboard, and even take a quick glance at any wallpaper for signs of bed bugs.
What to Look For:
- Discarded exoskeletons or molts (they might look like little crumbs)
- Fecal spots (which look like black or dark red marker inkblots)
- Live bed bugs
Live bed bugs have six legs, are reddish-brown and are very tiny. They’re often mistaken for baby cockroaches, fleas, or ticks, but they move like ants and they have oval-shaped bodies.
It goes without saying … but if you find signs of bed bugs, don’t stick around. Report bed bugs to the management immediately so that they can take action and spare other families a potential nightmare.
After you’re done with the trip and the family settles down at home, carefully examine everything. Wash your clothes, vacuum out your luggage, and make sure there aren’t any signs of bed bugs.
Because bed bugs can’t survive extreme temperatures, dry your clothes on high heat and freeze the vacuum’s contents before throwing it away.
Some of the first signs you’ll notice if you have bed bugs at home are bites. They usually look similar to mosquito or flea bites and could appear anywhere on the body.
You’re unlikely to wake up with fresh bites every morning unless the problem is severe.
If you do see signs that some bed bugs smuggled themselves in your luggage, it is a good idea to call a professional pest control company to conduct a home inspection — especially if you have been back from vacation for a few days.
Bed bugs can spread rapidly and are difficult to get rid of on your own.
Thankfully, you can avoid bed bug problems from the start. You now have the knowledge to ensure that beachfront hotel, rustic cabin, or anywhere else your wanderlust may take you, really is the perfect getaway!
Because No Bugs is Simply Better.
Ben Bowen is a content writer for Fox Pest Control in Corpus Christi, TX. Ben’s hobbies include novel writing, listening to audiobooks, practicing penmanship, and playing with his nieces and nephews.
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