HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM BED BUGS WHILST TRAVELLING AND PROTECT YOUR HOME WHEN YOU RETURN.
So you’ve booked that long awaited trip, you visualise the hotel pool, the lovely dining area, the luxurious bedrooms with the stunning views and when you get there instead of being bitten by the night life bug in the local town you are instead eaten alive by the local night life for real. Don’t despair. Think ahead and prepare for this inconvenience and you should not be “bugged” by these tiny little pests.
And don’t sit there complacently thinking that you won’t have a problem because you’ve booked a five star hotel.In the news recently a 4-star hotel reported having problems with bed bugs. And as people who have had a bed bug infestation in their home can tell you, bed bugs can infiltrate even the cleanest homes and find places to hide.
These tips will help protect you from bed bugs while travelling. They will also help you protect your home from a bed bug infestation when you return.
BEFORE YOU GO.
There are a couple of things you can do before you travel to help protect yourself and your family against bed bugs:
RESEARCH HOTELS AND HOSTELS AHEAD OF TIME
While you are doing your pre-trip research, check any hotels or hostels you might stay at on the trip advisor or similar websites. There are no guarantees that a traveller will report a bed bug infestation at a hotel or hostel. But you do reduce the chances if you do the research ahead of time. Just because a hotel did have a bed bug infestation at one point doesn’t mean you should necessarily avoid it. Check the date of the most recent negative review. Maybe it’s in the past. Give the hotel a call and talk to the manager.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LUGGAGE
Bed bugs like fabrics more than metals and plastics. And bed bugs are small enough to squeeze through closed zips. This is why experts recommend using hard luggage that closes tight instead of soft luggage with zips.
PROTECT YOUR CLOTHES
Bugzip are bed bug proof bags that work because they are air-tight. They come in different sizes and are ideal for popping your clothes into once you get to the hotel. If you keep them sealed you can be sure no bed bugs are creeping in after you creep between the sheets. They are excellent, don’t cost much and will bring you peace of mind.
WHEN YOU CHECK INTO YOUR HOTEL OR HOSTEL:
PROTECT YOUR LUGGAGE
Never put your luggage on the bed or on a couch. Many hotel rooms have luggage racks. It’s a good idea to use them. Give the luggage rack a good inspection to make sure there are no bed beds on or near it. If no luggage rack, try to find a hard, light-colored surface and make sure it’s clear of bed bugs. Some people suggest keeping the luggage in the bath tub.
CHECK YOUR ROOM
This might not seem a very romantic thing to do but you can be sure that comparing each other’s bites over breakfast is not a great deal of fun either. Take time to do this and it will save trouble in the long run. Pull bedding aside and check mattresses for fecal stains. Check mattress seams for eggs, fecal stains, molted exoskeletons and bugs. Pull the headboard away from wall and check any cracks that might have bed bugs. Also check creases of curtains, seams of couch cushions, cracks and crevices of any furniture, cracks near wall trim, behind picture frames, any joints where floors and walls meet.
WHILE YOU ARE THERE
Make sure you pack some personal protection spray with your toiletries, such as PreVent Insect Protection Spray, to ward off any blood sucking beasties. You might like to take along an insecticidal spray such as Cyperbug to spray around the surfaces in the room just to be on the safe side. Also, think about investing in some dissolvable laundry bags (I kid you not). These are perfect for soiled laundry. Keep your whites and coloureds in separate bags, seal them up and when you get home you can throw them straight into the machine, keeping any stowaways from escaping.
Do not bring your suitcase into your bedroom or living room. Never unpack on a bed or sofa. Unpack directly into your washing machine if possible. This is easy with the dissolvable laundry bags.
If that is not possible, unpack bags on a hard, light colored surface so you can spot any bed bugs that might come out and launder clothes immediately
TREAT YOUR LUGGAGE, THEN STORE IT SAFELY
After you finish unpacking, vacuum your luggage thoroughly. Be sure to use a bag-type vacuum and treat the bag with diatomaceous earth to kill bed bugs you pick up.. Get into all the seams, folds and crevices of your luggage as best you can.
If you happen to return to the UK during a heatwave you can use the heat to treat your luggage. Seal your luggage in black bin bags and let it sit in your car while your car is out in the sun for a few hours. Use a thermometor to make sure the temperature is high enough. 7 minutes at 46 centigrade is enough to kill all stages of bed bugs. Just make sure that you don’t stack up items or multiple pieces of luggages in the same bag. This will give bed bugs possible cool places to hide where it won’t get hot enough to kill them.
Use bed bug insecticides. After you vacuum your luggage, you can treat it with an insecticide such as the Cyperbug already mentioned or if you prefer, the organic Oa2ki insect spray.. You can also treat it with diatomaceous earth targeted at crawling insects before storing the luggage and then keep the luggage sealed until next use. If you use diatomaceous earth, you can simply vacuum it out before using the luggage again.
Store your luggage separate from your home if you can. Keeping it in a shed or your garage is better than having it in your closet or under your bed. Seal all luggage pieces in air-tight bags until you use them again.
Follow this advice and enjoy a bug free stay.