You hear a lot of talk these days about bed bugs in hotels. People are demanding that hotels have pest control bed bug services to regularly inspect and apply preventative treatment—and with good reason.
The primary threat of bed bugs is that they will infest a home, and the most likely place for an infestation to begin is in a heavily traveled public place.
In a hotel that doesn’t have regular bed bug services, the progression toward home infestation goes like this:
1. Someone who has picked up bed bugs in their clothes and luggage sleeps in the hotel room before you.
2. Some bed bugs crawl away to hide in tiny nooks and crannies around the bed or other parts of the room. The cleaning crew does its normal cleanup but doesn’t get the bed bugs.
3. The bed bugs find a really good hiding place and reproduce.
4. You sleep in the hotel room and the bed bugs get in your clothes and luggage to catch a ride home with you. That’s what bed bugs do—they’re notorious hitchhikers.
5. You don’t take adequate cautions when you get home, and the bed bugs have found a new place to live! 6. The bed bugs reproduce and become a problem that will require professional bed bug services.
Hotels aren’t the only places of concern—movie theaters, laundries, airplanes, taxis, public transportation, libraries, schools are all, unfortunately, possible places for bed bugs to transfer from one person to you! You run the danger of picking up bed bugs in almost any indoor public space.
What You Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Bed Bugs
1. Don’t stay at hotels that don’t have regular pest control bed bug services. Thoroughly inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs before accepting them.
2. When returning from overnight trips, take clothes directly from sealed plastic bags and wash and dry them over high heat. Likewise, treat your luggage in a portable heating unit before bringing it inside.
3. Inspecting for bed bugs isn’t practical in every public place you visit, and neither is doing a load of laundry every time you leave home and return. But if you’ve been sitting in a public place, it’s a good precaution to change clothes and put your dirty clothes immediately into sealable plastic bags (or disposable laundry bags) and wash and dry them with heat as soon as possible.
4. Use bed bug proof mattress covers and ClimbUp Insect Interceptors, which you can place on the foot of beds and other furniture to trap bed bugs as they try to make their way to feed on you or to return to their hiding place.
Photo Credit: Room 1167