Yes, you can bring bed bugs home. Hotels, hostels, B&B’s, and any similar facility are known hotbeds for bed bugs. They infest the beds and the furniture in the rooms and if you place your clothes or luggage near them the bed bugs can easily hitch a ride and travel back with you to your house.
Be sure to hang up your coat and place your luggage in the bathroom of the hotel room when you arrive.
When you get back home, put your luggage in the garage and put all the clothes you took with you straight into the washing machine and dryer to kill any hitchhiking bugs.
How do you identify a bed bug?
Bed bugs can be tricky to identify. They are small and sneaky, which makes it difficult to catch an infestation before it worsens. Knowing what they look like can give you an advantage in curbing the infestation.
Bed bugs are about ¼ of an inch long, barrel-shaped and flat, with a reddish-brown color. They have six legs and two antennae.
Bed bug nymphs are smaller than the adult and have a more translucent color. Bed bug eggs are very small, roughly around the size of a grain of salt, oval-shaped, and pearly white in color.
If you cannot find any bed bugs, they leave traces of their presence that you might be able to see on beddings. Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets and mattresses from crushed bed bugs and dark or black spots from bed bug poop are signs to look for.
Note also bed bug bites on your body or your pets at home. Although bites may not be the best way to identify an infestation since they can also be caused by other insects or allergies, know that bed bug bites can raise welts and rashes and can cause an intense itching sensation.
Fortunately, bed bug bites do not carry any communicable diseases that we know of.
What are bed bugs attracted to?
Bed bugs are attracted to ideal breeding conditions, so knowing how to identify these places and factors can help stop an infestation from spreading in your home.
Bed bugs are drawn to frequent foot traffic, access to warmth, and carbon dioxide.
Where there is a source of blood, bed bugs will be there. Places like condos, dormitories, hotels, and homes are prime locations for bed bugs since plenty of people go in and out.
They are called bed bugs for a reason, since their favorite hiding spots are beddings, box springs, mattresses, and bed frames, because those things have all of their essential needs.
Although they are commonly found in the bedroom, they can wedge their way into any small hiding spot in your home, so if you think you might have a bed bug infestation, check more than just your bed. Check your furniture, curtains, drawers, electrical outlets and appliances, wallpaper, ceiling, and floor cracks.
Bed bugs live anywhere their host can live, so this is by no means a comprehensive list. They are known to bite both humans and pets and are mostly active at night.
How do you prevent bed bugs from getting into your home?
Here are some precautionary measures you can take to prevent bed bugs from getting in your home.
Inspect used furniture before purchasing
New furniture can be very expensive, so it is understandable to consider used furniture as a much cheaper alternative to furnish your home, but it can also pose a risk of bed bugs if you do not examine it closely.
Make it a habit to do a quick inspection of the furniture you are thinking of purchasing. Check the seams of the upholstery for any sign of bed bugs or bed bug residue. As a rule of thumb, avoid purchasing a secondhand mattress.
Even if it looks clean enough to bring home after purchase, give the furniture a good cleaning before placing it in your home. Store it in your garage or shed, vacuuming any furniture with fabric and upholstery and thoroughly cleaning it with hot, soapy water, careful to check all the drawers and storage places.
Regularly inspect your beddings
You do not have to do this on a daily basis, rather, whenever you wash your beddings. Take the time to inspect the condition of your bed for signs of bed bugs or bed bug residue.
If you see signs of bed bugs, remove your bedding from your bed and place it in the washer on the highest heat and cycle setting your bedding material will allow. The heat and water combined will kill any bed bugs that might be hiding in your bedding. For good measure, consider also washing any curtains, rugs, throw blankets, and pillows that might have been exposed in your bedroom.
As for your mattress and box spring, bring them outside and use a scrub brush, get into the seams and other affected areas of the mattress, brushing any bugs or eggs out. Take a vacuum and thoroughly clean the entire surface of both the mattress and box spring.
When traveling, always check the hotel room for bugs
Check your hotel room for bed bugs before you unpack, focusing on the bedding, upholstered furniture and curtains. If you see signs of bed bugs, ask the front desk or host for another room. Notify them that you found bed bugs in your current room.
Do not bring your luggage into the room until you are 100% sure that there are no bed bugs. Bed bugs can attach themselves to your luggage and can live up to a week, making it possible for them to find their way back into your home.
If you suspect that your clothes have been exposed to bed bugs, wash all of the clothes you brought on your trip in the washing machine at the highest heat setting. Place them in the dryer on the highest temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Inspect your luggage and leave it in the garage. Hand wash the bag and vacuum thoroughly before bringing it back inside your house.
Yes, you can bring bed bugs home especially if your work requires you to travel often. Hotels and other facilities like it are hotspots for bed bug infestations because a lot of different people go in and out.
To avoid bringing home bed bugs, make sure to thoroughly inspect any used furniture that you plan on purchasing. Avoid used mattresses as much as possible.
When traveling, always check the bed and furniture in your hotel room for bed bugs so you do not accidentally expose your clothes and luggage.
Upon arriving back home, wash all of the clothes you brought with you, as well as your luggage.
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