• Danielle Fornal

Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Spring Break Plans

Spring is right around the corner and spring break travel plans are on the calendar for not only college students, but families in need of a winter break as well. With travel comes the risk of bringing home bed bugs.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has put out a reminder to all travelers of the risk of bringing home bed bugs from their spring sojourns, especially as the NPMA continues to note a 71% increase in reports of these pests since 2001*.

There’s a misconception that staying in a 5 star resort will lessen your chances of bringing home bed bugs, but the truth is that bed bugs can be found no matter the sanitation, and any lodging facility is susceptible to bed bugs.

Bed bugs are nocturnal and feed on blood. Although bed bugs are considered a public health pest by The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), they are not known to spread or transmit disease.

What They Look Like:

  • Size of an apple seed (5-7 mm or 3/16 - 1/4 inch long)

  • long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body (rounder, more elongated and reddish-brown if recently fed)

How to Check Your Room:

  • Put your luggage in the bathroom tub or elevated on a rack away from the bed and wall before checking your room for bed bugs.

  • Pull back the bed sheets and closely inspect the mattresses (if you packed a flashlight, it will come in handy here), pay special attention to the crevices. You can also check surrounding areas such as the bed’s headboard and nearby couches and furniture. You are looking for tiny black dots, blood stains and for actual bed bugs, dead or alive.

  • Check the rest of the room, including behind headboards and any sofas or chairs.

  • If you do find any evidence of bed bugs, request a room change that is not adjacent to or near your current room. Make sure to inspect the new room as you did the first.

  • Upon returning home, inspect your luggage from outside of your home. For an extra ounce of protection, you can vacuum out your suitcases. Lastly, as an added safety measure, wash your clothing items in hot water and place dryer-safe clothing items in the dryer for 15 minutes or more on the highest setting.

*Source: NPMA Blog

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