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Holiday Travel and Bed Bugs—What You Need to Know

Thousands of Chicago residents travel during the holidays. The lights, the food, the gifts, the fun—they’re all a wonderful part of making memories. One souvenir you want to definitely avoid is bed bugs, which can quickly turn a wonderful trip into a nightmare.

These tiny bugs are parasites that live off your blood. Though not an official health hazard, they’re one of the most awful and irritating of all insects. They’re named after one specific piece of furniture where they’re frequently found; however, they’re not just found in mattresses. They are also found in other areas, things like stuffed animals, fabric-covered couches and chairs, in bed frames and headboards, in clutter around your bed, and even behind wallpaper.

Bed bugs are gifted at spreading and surviving, and they’re ultra difficult to get rid of. Your best bet is to avoid them altogether. How can you travel and stay safe from these blood-sucking hitchhikers? Check out our list of do’s and don’ts for avoiding bed bugs while traveling:

Check the bed bug registry. Did you know you can look up the hotel you plan to stay in and see if they’ve been reported as having any recent bedbug infestations? And, if you do know of a hotel where such an infestation has occurred, please take the time to report it for the sake of your fellow travelers. Simply go to bed bug registry for information.

Don’t put your belongings on the bed. Try to keep your luggage not only off the bed but away from the bed as well. It’s also recommended you keep your luggage off the carpet if at all possible, as that is another easy hiding place for bed bugs. Try to keep your suitcase on the luggage rack or even in the bathroom, where the tile won’t be harboring hidden critters. Don’t lay your clothes out on the bed; rather, hang them in the closet or on hooks in the bathroom.

Carefully check common hiding places. Use the flashlight app on your phone and look in the most common areas where bugs hide in hotel rooms. This includes the mattress, box springs, headboard, and footboard. You’ll need to look for tiny black bugs or blood spots. If you rent a car, make sure you check the trunk. Bed bugs don’t survive as well in cars during the summer due to heat, but it’s a good idea to check no matter what time of year it is.

Turn up the heat. Once you return home, be sure to wash all of your clothing and even any soft, washable luggage on the hottest cycle. Then put them through two dryer cycles, just to be sure.

We hope your holidays aren’t ruined by bed bugs or any other pesky bug. Here at Pointe Pest Control we are ready to handle any insect infiltration and can help keep your home safe and bug-free for the holidays.