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Holiday Travel and Bed Bugs

By: Jasna Alexsandrova

From November 21 until we embrace the New Year airports, bus stations and railways are busy with people traveling the world. This is the busiest and most exciting time, filled with happy moments of exchanging gifts, smiles and hugs with love ones. Whether you are staying in a five star hotel, in a motel, with an old friend, family or they are staying with you, it is my job is to remind you that as a traveler you have be on the lookout for bed bugs.

Bed bugs are sneaky little creatures that are great hitchhikers and you have to pay close attention when traveling. Whether you are staying in a hotel or you are simply traveling via plane, bus or train they can find their way into your bags. They are called bed bugs for a reason. In a strange and unpredictable way they sneak into your luggage or onto the clothes that you are wearing in order to make their way into your home. Be careful! Bringing home just one bed bug can result in you having many more in just a few weeks.

One female bed bug can lay 1 to 2 eggs a day and up to 200 eggs in her lifetime. It is well known that they come out during the night looking for food, but many people don’t realize that they are also known for emerging during the day. You can find bed bugs during the day near where people sleep. It is not totally proven, but some professionals think that body odor might be one attractor for bed bugs which means that, for them, there is a food source nearby. This can be an evolutionary trait that they’ve developed to lead them to your dirty laundry, which makes sense. Now that you have all of this information, what do you do to keep bed bugs out of your home?

Here are a few tips that can help:

          Bed bugs disks are good things that you can buy to prevent these sneaky creatures from getting into your luggage. You can put the disks under the legs of luggage racks wherever you are staying in becausethey contain powder to keep it bed bug free zone.

          Check out your belongings when repacking and check them again when you return home. Preferably in an area other than your bedroom.

          Keep your luggage away from the bed by placing it in another area of the room.

          Pack your dirty clothes in a sealed bag as soon as you take them off of your body.

          Do not put your luggage on the bed while preparing the luggage rack or near the walls. (Bed bags can often hide behind the head boards, picture frames, and electrical outlets)

          Take the time to search the area because there are lots of hiding spots, to be confident that you and your belongings are safe.

           Place your luggage in the bathtub or simply put it in a garbage bag.

          Travel with your luggage in a garbage bag. (You may have seen this on a luggage carousel before)

          Do these things for the visitors that stay at your home as well. Since they are traveling, they may inadvertently bring bed bugs with them from hotels, flights, etc.

In using these techniques you will greatly reduce your likelihood of bringing bed bugs home.

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