This is a collaborative post.
The idea of a bed bug infestation makes our skin crawl, and with good reason. Dealing with a bed bug infestation is no picnic and can take months to treat. Fueling the nightmare is the fact that they are so tiny that we likely will not notice when we come into contact with them. They measure about one fourth of an inch and feed almost exclusively on human blood. Their eggs are even smaller, measuring around 0.1 inches. Their size helps them to go unnoticed initially; however the signs of their presence become quite evident as they multiply. But how do they find their way into our homes? Just like many of us, they love to travel. Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers that will try to catch a ride anywhere that a human comes into contact with them. These insects can be found in buses, airplanes, hotels, Airbnbs and in almost every country on Earth. Jet-setters can avoid the nightmare of an infestation with these tips:
Prevention on Public Transportation Vehicles
When traveling on buses, trains and other public transportation vehicles, it is recommended to use hard sided luggage in place of softer fabric suitcases, which have more seams and folds that these tiny insects can hide in. Avoid placing your bags on the floor or in uncovered seats near you. Preferably keep them on your lap or somewhere where you place a protective cover between your belongings and the surface itself. Most importantly, before taking your seat make sure to inspect it thoroughly for any signs of bed bug activity. This can sometimes be evidenced by their eggs as well as by the spots of fecal matter they leave behind. However, it is important to note that both of these are often so small that a flashlight is required to see them properly.
Prevention on Airplanes
Bed bugs are known to be less common in airplanes, however there are still a few adventurous ones who enjoy the thrill of flying. This is why it is still important to take precautionary measures when traveling via air. Inspecting your seat beforehand just like you would in a public transportation vehicle is a must. Bringing a jacket to the plane to stay warm is a good way to avoid coming into contact with the blankets provided by the airline, as they might have been used by other passengers in previous flights. Choosing a seat in an area with less upholstered surfaces can also be helpful as bed bugs have a harder time hiding in places where there are fewer folds and crevices. With that in mind, it is not recommended for objects to be placed inside of the seat pocket without a protective encasement, as this harder to inspect area could constitute an ideal hiding place for unwanted hitchhikers.
Prevention on Hotels and Airbnbs
If you are planning to stay somewhere during your travels, it is a good idea to find reviews from the hotel or Airbnb of your choosing to ensure that it has a good reputation for pest control, as well as cleanliness. When you pack, choose luggage that is made from harder materials rather than softer ones; because, as we explored earlier, bed bugs tend to prefer to hitchhike in fabrics that offer them crevices and folds to hide in. Once at the hotel or Airbnb, avoid placing your luggage on the floor, bed and carpets. Instead, use luggage racks, if available, or other elevated hard surfaces. Before laying in the bed or sitting on the couch make sure to conduct a thorough.
inspection of the area, to ensure that no signs of infestation are present. When you check the bed, pull the blankets back and look through the sheets, pillowcases and mattress for any signs of bed bug activity.
As we have explored, when it comes to bed bugs prevention is the best policy. However, if you find any of these unwanted insects in your home after a trip, it is highly recommended to get a professional extermination to save months of agony. Michigan Bed Bug Services recommend using the heat treatment method over chemical sprays to make sure that any of these little hitchhikers are eliminated from your home completely. Meanwhile on your trips, remember to steer clear from shared objects and surfaces. Take care of yourself and your belongings and follow these tips to enjoy a bed bug free journey. Stay safe and happy travels!