Bed Bugs love the holidays. All the traveling. All those family gatherings. All the sharing!
Bed Bugs are shared through social contact, travel and the giving and receiving of items. Here are some things to consider.
There is a social stigma attached to having bed bugs. In the main, society believes that people who have bed bugs are dirty, and so people with bed bugs generally do not tell. The truth is anyone can get them. But if no one is reporting that they have bed bugs, then they are acting as if they don’t have them. Which mean they may be actively sharing their bed bugs with you.
Common bed bug travel methods. We find bed bugs on beds, bed frames and bedclothes. We also find bed bugs on couches, under tables and chairs, in dressers, on toilets, in blankets and throws, in carpets, coats and in backpacks and purses. (In cracks and electrical outlets too… but that’s a story for another time.)
What can you do? Travel light. If you are staying in a hotel, leave what you can in your car. Take in only what you need. Keeping your suitcase in the bathtub is not a bad idea as bed bugs have very little use for bathtubs.
Look before you sleep! Motels change the sheets after each guest. So the likelihood of finding bedbugs there is pretty slim. However, they very seldom clean behind the headboard. That makes headboards a great place to look. Most headboards are not attached to the bed. Instead, they are lowered into a headboard Cleat or bracket. Two people can easily to lift the headboard up and out of the cleat. Set the headboard face down on the bed. Look for bed bugs and bed bug eggs. Eggs look like sand. The “sand” is sticky and attached where sand would not ordinarily be, like on the underside of a frame cross member. Baby bed bugs (called buglings ….not really) are clear to translucent and are a challenge to see.
“Just put your coat in on the bed.” NO…. leave your coat at home or in the car. Remember, holiday bed bugs travel on coats and live in beds. You may wish to leave your purse out there too.
Keep moving. Bed bugs climb on you when you are still. Move around. Tell animated stories. Wiggle on the toilet. You get the idea.
“Let me put that in the wash for you” If your kids are having a sleepover, check incoming backpacks for signs of bugs. You might also wash them just in case. The soap in the washer will remove the bug’s waxy coat then the dryer will be able to dry them out and they will die. Eggs will be killed too. But you must wash and dry.
That’s the Basics. Avoiding holiday bed bugs is way easier than treating for them. Call us if you need us!
Happy Holidays From all of us at Pest Patrol!