Bed bugs could be called blood bugs. They’re disturbing little creatures who, similarly to fleas, feed off your blood and they are possibly living in your bed. Have you woken up lately with tiny itchy bites and blamed your pooches? If the itchy spots happen to have three tiny bite marks, then it is not an over-indulgent flea you are dealing with, but rather bed bugs.
Bed bugs are difficult to spot, until you have been bitten, as they hide in nooks, crannies and crevices.
Bed bugs are difficult to spot, apart from the fact that when they bite, they do so three times. They hide from you by making their home in places such as the spring coils of your bed, cracks in the bed post, in the folds and tufts of the mattress, hollows of the bedspread, in your luggage and behind portraits mounted in on the wall. Bed bugs like to feed on you but they don’t live on your person, they simply lurk nearby.
‘Catching’ bed bugs has become the concern for many travellers.
Unfortunately not every hotel, hostel or bed and breakfast is making use of professional pest control services to ensure their accommodation is suitably clean. A professional pest controller will know where to look for bed bugs, use the appropriate insecticide to remove these pests and advise whether fumigation is necessary or not.
If you happen to have booked accommodation that might be housing a ‘family’ of bed bugs in your room you might not know it until you are suffering itchy bites on your body but that’s not the worst thing that could happen. The worst thing would be you bringing these nasty creatures home with you to infest your home.
Here’s how to avoid bringing bed bugs home with you from your travels:
Prior to booking your accommodation ask about the pest control services that the hotel or the like, makes use of, and find out how regularly. Many companies in the hospitality industry are very aware of bed bugs and how problematic and off-putting they can be. If the accommodation you have enquired about hasn’t got a clue as to what you are referring to or can’t answer your questions, then move onto your next option. Better safe than sorry.
Wrap your luggage in plastic that has no holes in it. Bed bugs will crawl through any porous surfaces or where there is a tear in the plastic, which means that when your luggage goes into the cargo hold on the airplane you are protected from other luggage that might be home to these critters.
When you are staying at your travel accommodation, take extra precautions against bed bugs. For instance, keep your bags off the bed and upholstered furniture. Rather, keep them in a tiled area or on a luggage rack. Also, don’t make a pile of laundry in the room that lies on the floor – place all your dirty clothes into a plastic bag and tie it up, you can then thoroughly wash all your clothes when you return home.
Take the dirty clothes from your holiday straight to a dry cleaning or laundry service before you return to your home. A hot-water wash and a hot drying cycle will kill off any bugs you may have picked up on your travels – for the clothes that can’t withstand this type of washing consider a dry-cleaning service.
Image credit – ABC News