Summer is often synonymous with travel; it seems like most everyone uses their vacation days during the warm summer months. This summer, you might have made your house the destination for your traveling family and friends. You’re excited to have them, but do you know if they are bringing uninvited visitors into your home?
Your guests could unknowingly bring bedbugs into your house via their suitcases, clothes, books, and even laptops. Left unchecked, just a few bedbugs picked up from a hotel can quickly lead to an infestation of your entire home. While bedbugs fortunately do not carry any diseases, an infestation can nonetheless result in loss of sleep, embarrassment, and even physical injury: a secondary skin infection may occur from excessive scratching at the bites.
Before you host any travelers this summer, learn the facts about bedbugs and how to protect yourself and your family.
Inform Your Guests
Travelers—particularly frequent travelers and guests of hotels—are at an elevated risk of carrying bedbugs. Bedbugs typically congregate where people rest for extended periods of time, making hotels perfect for breeding and spreading the pest.
If your guests are coming from a hotel or bed and breakfast, be sure to talk to them about reducing the likelihood that they bring bedbugs with them. The following tips will help both your guests and you.
Before leaving home, your guests should pack sealable plastic bags to store their travel items. Storing clothes and toiletries in plastic bags inside their suitcase can help keep bedbugs out.
After their arrival at a hotel, your guests should do the following:
- They should inspect the room for a bedbug infestation. This includes checking the mattress, box spring, and headboard before using the bed.
- They should place luggage and bags in the bathroom or on top of the desk in the room, not on the floor or upholstered furniture where bedbugs are more likely to hide.
- Their clothes should be kept in their suitcases or, if necessary, on hangers in the closet. Clothes should never be left on the floor or bed.
- At the end of their stay, they should search their suitcases and other belongings for signs of bedbugs.
- If they find signs of bedbugs, they should notify hotel management immediately and demand a new room.
Mitigate Your Risk
When your guests arrive at your home, you don’t have to simply cross your fingers and hope they didn’t bring any bedbugs. There are a few things you can do to mitigate your risk:
- Check their suitcases (including the seams and zipper areas) for signs of bedbugs.
- Have your guests leave their suitcases outside, whether in their car or in your garage.
- Launder your guests’ clothes and shoes, when possible, using hot water and high heat. This will kill any bedbugs hiding in their clothing. Clothes that are too delicate to be laundered this way should be kept in plastic bags and preferably left outside of your home.
- Have your guests keep items that can’t be laundered; such as books, electronics, toiletries, and jewelry; in sealable plastic bags during their stay with you.
Inspect Your Home
Bedbugs are very small and adept at hiding. They move quickly and since they are as thin as credit cards, are able to fit into the smallest cracks and corners. Bedbugs are frequently located on or near places where people rest, including mattresses, box springs, bedding, headboards, and bed frames. They can also be found in chairs, couches, furniture, curtains, carpet edges, floorboards, electrical outlets, and even wall cracks and loose wallpaper.
When inspecting your home, look for dark spots or reddish stains on bedding, tiny white eggs or eggshells, skin casings, and live bedbugs.
The signs of a bedbug infestation can easily be missed if you aren’t looking carefully. It can also be difficult to tell whether you have a bedbug problem or other pest infestation.
If you suspect bedbugs, contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or request a quote. You can trust that Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control, a pest control company serving Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Columbus, can let you know if you have bedbugs and help you get rid of them. Find us on these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter.