As the temperature rises and summer beckons us to explore new destinations or revisit favorite vacation spots, the last thing anyone wants to bring back from a trip is unwanted hitchhikers in the form of bed bugs. While the chances of encountering bed bugs during travel are relatively low, their presence in hotels, motels, and even vacation rentals has become increasingly common. To ensure your travels remain bug-free and prevent any potential infestations at home, follow these simple yet effective tips.

Preparing for Your Trip

1. Choose Hard-Cased Luggage: Opt for hard-cased luggage if possible. These materials make it more difficult for bed bugs to latch onto your belongings compared to fabric suitcases.

2. Pack in Plastic Bags: Pack your clothing and other items in re-sealable plastic bags. These bags not only keep your belongings organized but also create an additional barrier against bed bugs.

3. Carry a Flashlight: Pack a small, bright flashlight in your luggage. This will come in handy for inspecting your accommodations upon arrival.

4. Avoid Insect Repellent: While insect repellents may be effective against mosquitoes and other pests, they are not effective against bed bugs. Refrain from spraying repellents on your luggage or clothing as they may pose health hazards without providing any bed bug protection.

Hotels and Other Lodging

Inquire About Bed Bug Policies: When making reservations or checking in, don’t hesitate to ask about the hotel’s bed bug prevention and control measures. Reputable establishments should have protocols in place for regular inspections and professional pest control services.

Inspecting Your Room

1. Familiarize Yourself with Bed Bugs: Learn to recognize bed bugs in all life stages and by their markings, including blood stains, shed skins, and droppings.

2. Elevate Your Luggage: Place your luggage on hard, elevated surfaces rather than on the floor or upholstered furniture. If necessary, store your luggage in the bathtub or car until you’ve completed a thorough inspection.

3. Inspect Bedding and Furniture: Check the mattress, box spring, headboard, and upholstered furniture for signs of bed bugs, such as live bugs, eggs, or dark spots.

4. Report Any Signs of Bed Bugs: If you discover evidence of bed bugs in your room, notify the hotel management immediately and request a different room.

Returning Home

1. Unpack in the Bathroom: Unpack your luggage in the bathroom against light-colored surfaces to easily spot any pests. Shake out clothing in the bathtub or shower.

2. Inspect Your Luggage: Carefully inspect your luggage, paying attention to seams, pockets, and straps. Consider using a vacuum with a crevice attachment to remove any potential hitchhikers.

3. Wash Clothing Immediately: Launder all clothing in hot water and dry on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes. Dry cleaning and steam cleaning are effective alternatives for items that cannot be washed and dried at high temperatures.

Don’t Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your Summer Fun!

Bed bugs are more than just a nuisance; they can disrupt your sleep, cause discomfort, and even lead to secondary skin infections. By following these summer travel tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering bed bugs during your adventures and prevent them from hitching a ride back to your home. However, if you do find yourself dealing with a bed bug infestation, don’t hesitate to reach out to Brentwood Pest Control for expert assistance. Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive bed bug solutions tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a pest-free environment for you and your family. Visit our website or call us today to learn more and schedule a consultation.