Bed bugs are terrible. They can infest homes, motels, and even airplanes, traveling through luggage and clothing to new places to feed. In this blog, we’ll run through the 5 best ways to avoid bed bugs while you’re traveling for the holidays.
At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite, we offer free bed bug inspections in the Phoenix and Casa Grande area. Contact us to schedule yours!
5 ways to avoid bed bugs infesting your home
1. Clean used furniture before bringing into your home
It’s a great feeling when you find that perfect couch, chair, or fabric-backed headboard for your bed at your local consignment store. However, buying used furniture could mean you’re getting something else thrown into the deal: bed bugs.
Bed bugs can hitch a ride on used furniture into your home, where they’ll spread to infect your home. If you do choose to buy used furniture that has any kind of fabric, thoroughly inspect it for bed bugs.
Keep your new piece in “quarantine”, in a garage or on a patio, separated from other pieces of furniture, carpet, and pet / human interaction. If you’re planning on reupholstering the piece, do that before you bring it into your home.
As a side note: used mattresses are typically a bad idea. Obviously, this is a popular place for bed bugs to hide, and buying a used mattress could be asking for trouble.
2. Read hotel and motel reviews
Bed bugs are natural hitchhikers, and their transit hubs to new places are hotels and motels. Bed bugs are the terror of the hospitality industry, and they should be: bed bugs can not only ruin your vacation, but ensure that your return home is just as awful.
Before you book your next hotel or motel stay, check out online reviews and see what people are saying.
- If there’s multiple reviews alluding to the presence of bed bugs and no attempt to address these customer concerns, you should probably look elsewhere.
- If there’s only one review that mentions bed bugs, and the hotel has responded and provided follow-up, they might be okay. You can call the hotel and ask about the precautions they take to prevent bed bug infestations.
Always check your hotel bed for bed bugs before getting into it, putting clothing on it, or opening your luggage.
A final note: the price of the hotel has little to do with its chances of having bed bugs. Often, a high-end hotel is just as likely to have or not have bed bugs as a chain motel. Bed bugs cut across class lines!
3. Put your luggage on watch
If you’re a frequent traveler, your risk of bringing home bed bugs goes up significantly. You need to develop a routine for handling your luggage and laundry when you return home to avoid bed bugs. Try this:
- Pack your garments into plastic bags inside of your suitcase to prevent any potential cross-contamination.
- Without bringing them into any other space of your home or mixing them with other clothes, immediately throw your clothes from the trip into the wash when you get home, and wash them on the highest heat setting possible.
- If you have an extra space freezer in your garage that your suitcase fits into, you can always freeze your luggage to kill off any remaining bed bugs (or bacteria!). Two hours of 23 degree temperatures or lower will eliminate any bed bugs.
- If you don’t have that freezer, you can hand wash your suitcase with hot water and a brush. Inspect for bed bugs as you go.
These steps might seem extreme, but, for the frequent traveler, they’re a way of ensuring that bed bugs don’t infest your home when you return.
4. Be careful when using shared laundry facilities
If you use a laundromat, be cautious of the risk of bed bugs. The hot water of a washer and the heat of a dryer can kill bed bugs, but the risk of cross-contamination comes when people are transferring laundry or folding it to be put away.
5. If you suspect you have bed bugs, call in the pros!
This one’s important. If you have even a sneaking suspicion that your home, bed, or furniture has bed bugs and that they’ve gotten past your defenses, you need to call a professional pest control company. Here in Phoenix and Casa Grande, that’s us here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.
Avoid bed bugs with our tips and our help!
Our technicians are bed bug control experts, and we offer free bed bug inspections here in the Valley and Casa Grande. If you need us to check for bed bugs in your home, call us at (480) 986-8500 or contact us online.