Avoid Bed Bugs This Holiday Season
According to AAA, more than 46 million Americans plan to travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving – the most for this holiday in seven years. With so many travelers heading to homes and hotels, via various modes of transportation, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), reminds the public that bed bugs remain a problem and that prevention is crucial to stem the spread of this pest.
“Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude and of course, good food. However, those happy memories can quickly be erased should a traveler find they’ve unknowingly brought bed bugs home,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We advise everyone to keep our easy-to-remember prevention tips in mind when traveling to keep their holiday – and beyond – free of bed bugs.
According to a 2013 NPMA/University of Kentucky survey, 75 percent of pest professionals treated for bed bugs in hotels; 21 percent on public transportation (train, bus, taxi) and two percent on planes.
The NPMA offers the following prevention tips for holiday travelers:
- Pull back hotel bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams for stains, spots or bugs. Also check behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.
- Immediately notify management of any signs of bed bugs and ask for a new room. Ensure the new room is not adjacent and/or directly above/below the original room. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets.
- Place luggage in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of the trip to keep bed bugs out.
- Upon returning home, inspect luggage before bringing it into the house and vacuum it thoroughly before putting it away.
- Dry all fabric items (even those that have not been worn) in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.
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