One of the easiest ways of encountering bed bugs is when you travel. Whether traveling locally or internationally, your luggage might come across with bed bugs. Bed bugs might be in your hotel room, in the trunk of the taxi, in the luggage compartment of the airplane, and so on. While you may not be able to control bed bugs while you are traveling, you can also do some ways to prevent them from coming home with you.
Preventing Bed Bugs when Traveling
Research your hotel
Before booking for a certain hotel, do some research first. Search TripAdvisor.com about the hotel you want to book and see if there are complaints about bed bugs. You can also go to BedbugRegistry.com and check if there have been complaints at a specific hotel. However, you also need to consider that bed bugs are becoming prevalent and a hotel that you like should still not be blacklisted from your list. If you are still going to check-in on a place where there is a history of bed bugs, make sure to ask for a room that has never had a bed bug problem or a room that has been thoroughly treated.
Invest in your luggage
It is most likely that bed bugs will come with you on your luggage since they like to hitchhike and attach themselves to the seams and zippers of soft-sided suitcases. When purchasing a new luggage better invest in hard-sided luggage, which bed bugs will have a hard time attaching themselves in. The hard-sided luggage have latches and not zippers. This type of luggage does not have folds or seams where bed bugs can hide, and it closes completely so pests cannot get inside.
You can also consider getting a collapsible luggage, where you can place your bags in the dryer for 30 minutes at high heat, as soon as you return home from your trip. If you must use soft-sided luggage, use lighter colored bags since it is also going to be difficult for you to spot bed bugs if your luggage is black or dark colored.
Pack your clothes smartly
Pack your belongings, such as your clothes, toiletries, and shoes in sealable plastic bags before putting them in your luggage. Make sure to seal everything you can inside since even a tiny opening can allow a bed bug to get in. When in a hotel room, keep your sealable bags zipped shut unless you need to access an item inside.
Spray your luggage with a bed bug deterrent spray
Before you travel, buy a bed bug deterrent spray and spray them all around and even inside your luggage. These sprays use lime and cedar, which bed bugs hate.
Inspect your room
Once inside your hotel room, do not put your luggage on the bed or on the floor of the room. Better bring your luggage inside the bathroom or in the bathtub. Have a little flashlight with you and start inspecting common hiding places of these bugs. The three most common places where they hide are on the headboard, nightstand and mattress.
Don’t bring your suitcase in with you once you get home
Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage. Make sure you are away from furniture and sleeping areas when you do this. If you live in an apartment, you can use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bed bugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and can easily be seen against light colors). Pay close attention to pockets, linings and seams. While you may be tired from traveling, but it is mostly important to first wash all your clothes in hot water and dry them for at least half an hour with heat before bringing them inside your room. Wash all your clothes, even those unworn on a high-heat setting, and dry them for at least 30 minutes to kill any bugs that might have traveled with you.
Make your Home Bed Bug Free
Since you like to travel make certain ways to also stop them from entering. It will take a lot of discipline on your part on how you view your travels. From inspecting the right rental car, to getting your suitcase protected when you travel by plane, and how you inspect your hotel may take a lot of your time. However, this will benefit your home if you can do it right. Your home in return should also be protected by placing mattress covers, avoid storing stuff under your bed, unless they are tightly sealed, throw out cardboard and paper, and so on.
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