Avoiding Bed Bugs This Spring
It doesn’t seem like that long ago that most people didn’t even think that bed bugs were a real thing. For the longest time, it was really just a part of an old phrase that some folks from another generation would say, but who had actually ever seen one? Now, things are much different. The bed bug, once all but eliminated in the United States, has made one of the greatest comebacks in history. It is believed that certain pesticides, now banned here, were responsible for reducing the population of bed bugs until they were almost gone. Since the ban, bed bugs have made their way across the country in record numbers thanks to the volume in which people now travel.
Bed bugs are experts at hiding among luggage and clothing and can live for a very long time without their main food source (blood) if they need to. This gives them plenty of time to hitch a ride from an unsuspecting traveler who typically picks these pests up in hotels, dormitories, schools, libraries, bus stations, airports, and even the occasional hospital room. Though they get their name from the beds that many believed that they occupied, the truth is they are just as comfortable in a couch or carpet as they are in a bed, as long as they can regularly get to their host – namely us – to feed!
So, if they are so sneaky and they are everywhere, how do we avoid bed bugs? It is not easy. The best way to avoid them is to always be watchful of them, especially when traveling. When you go to a new place or check into the hotel, make sure that you take the time to inspect the bed, bed cover, and mattress for any sign of bed bugs. These signs may be droplets of blood or feces left behind, tiny black dots which might be bed bug eggs, or even the bugs themselves, dead or alive. Make it a habit to take a small flashlight to accomplish this task as thoroughly as possible. If the bed seems clear, make sure to check any furniture that may be in the room as well. Each nook and cranny could be harboring a future stowaway for your luggage. Many people also keep their clothing in sealable plastic bags for added protection.
When you get home do not put your suitcase on your bed and take care of it later. These bugs are notoriously adept at hiding, and you might have missed something in your travels. Unpack immediately, preferably not in the bedroom, and wash everything that you brought home in hot water, if possible. Then inspect any bags that you brought home thoroughly. As an added precaution pull out the vacuum and clean each compartment before storing it away.
It is hard to be one hundred percent safe from bed bugs. Periodically, check your home because you never know when you might have carried a couple in. Check the bedding, closets, and living room furniture for signs from these tiny houseguests. If you find any indication, give us a call at Schendel Pest Services. One of our bed bug control experts will come to your home to do a thorough inspection. Once they determine the locations of any bed bugs, they will work with you to determine the best way to eliminate the threat of bed bugs from the home.