How to Be Safe
Summer is here and everyone is traveling for their summer vacation. Staying in a hotel during your vacation can be exciting and fun, but there are precautions to keep you and your family safe this summer while vacationing.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bed bugs have flat bodies about the size of a small seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color. Bedbugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust.
Where do Bed Bugs Hide?
Bed Bugs are very flat, which makes it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the size of a credit card. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but tend to live in groups in hiding places. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards where they have easy access to people to bite in the night. NOTE: Bed Bugs can also hide in your luggage, undetected and spread very easily all over your stuff. This is why it is important to check your hotel room to ensure you are not bringing back any unwanted guests.
What Happens When Bed Bugs Bite?
Bedbugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are sleeping. Most bedbug bites are painless at first, but later turn into itchy welts. Unlike flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites are on any area of skin exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites do not have a red spot in the center like flea bites do.
How To Spot Them.
When you first get to your hotel, it is good practice to pull the sheets back on your bed and inspect for bed bugs. Signs that you may be dealing with bed bugs include, blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases, dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement on sheets and mattresses and walls, bed bug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide, an offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands. Also make sure to check other furniture in the room and the curtains.
What To Do if you Bring Back Bed Bugs?
Even after properly inspecting your hotel room for bed bugs you still run the risk of bringing back an infestation to your home. After your vacation try to not set your luggage on any furniture or carpet until it can be properly wiped down. Any clothes that you took should be washed in warm or hot water and shoes need to be sprayed with disinfectant.