How to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home This Holiday Season
The holidays are the busiest time of the year for most of us. Whether you’re traveling to visit loved ones or they are coming to stay with you, the holidays are the top travel season of the year. With all the hustle and bustle, the holiday season is also the busiest time for pests – especially bed bugs! Bed bugs, who are known for being hitchhikers, often tag along on your luggage, purses, and even your clothes. They can be picked up on planes, trains, buses, and hotels.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are typically brown, oval, flat, wingless insects that resemble wood ticks. They can be anywhere from 1/4″ to 3/8″ in length. One of the most common signs of bed bugs are “blood spots,” rust colored spots left behind near their feeding areas. Now that you know what to look for, what can you do to reduce your risk of bringing these pests along on your holiday travels?
Check out these tips to prevent bed bugs this season:
- Check for bed bugs: Inspect your accommodations thoroughly for bed bugs. Check for live bugs, casts, and blood spots. Make sure to check cracks, crevices, seams, and folds of material in the bedding. Check mattress seams, carpet edges, and the undersides of sofa cushions. Check for blood spots on baseboards, bed linens, mattresses, heating vents, under box springs, and behind headboards. Check the Bed Bug Registry, a free public database of bed bug reports for the United States and Canada.
- Move your bed away from the wall: Bed bugs hide in walls and baseboards during the day and come out at night to feed. By moving your bed away from the wall, you provide fewer places for the bed bugs to hide.
- Tuck in your bed sheets and blankets: Bed bugs can’t jump or fly. This eliminates one way bed bugs can reach the bed. Use light colored linens on your bed. White or pastel colored linens make it easier to see blood spots from bed bugs.
- Encase your mattresses and box springs: with vinyl or polyurethane or specially made bed bug encasements.
- Wash your clothes immediately: Unpack your clothes immediately and place them in plastic bags. Move the clothes into the washing machine immediately. Wash and dry your clothes on the highest temperature setting the fabric will allow. Use the same protocol for bed linens
- Vacuum after guests leave: Throw away the plastic bags in an outdoor trashcan immediately. Make sure to vacuum your home after your guests leave and double bag the vacuum bag and dispose of it outside.
- Store suitcases away from the bedrooms: Have your guests unpack immediately and store luggage in a hallway closet. Carefully inspect suitcases and other non-washable items and place them in plastic bags. Store sealed luggage outside the home (in a garage, shed, etc) until you need to use them again.
- Declutter: Provide a hook to hang coats, purses, robes, etc on. Use luggage racks to store suitcases and avoid placing them on the bed. This diminishes the places bed bugs can hide. Put a plastic mat by your front door to hold shoes. Have your guests remove their shoes when they come into the house.
- Call a pro: If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, call a professional pest control company, such as Alexandria Pest Services, to come in and perform a thorough evaluation and provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan.
Call Us to Help You Get Rid of Bed Bugs or Other Pests or Rodents!
If you want to prevent bed bugs from entering your home this year or if bed bugs have already made your house their home, you will need the professionals. Our team of expert technicians will provide a free inspection and work to create a plan to eliminate your pests. At Alexandria Pest Services, we help homeowners just like you get rid of pests in their homes all year round. If you find that you are having a problem with insects or pests, and need an exterminator, call Alexandria Pest Services at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional evaluation. We can help you get rid of these invaders in your home or office!