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How to Prevent Hitchhiking Bed Bugs on Vacation

young couple laying in bed on vacation

Summer is coming to an end, which means millions of Americans are gearing up for their final summer vacations. However, before hitting the road to enjoy some rest and relaxation, we  encourage travelers to learn and practice bed bug prevention tips to help avoid bringing home these unwanted souvenirs. “Bed bugs can turn a relaxing vacation into a nightmare, especially if they return home with you,” said Larry Motes,B.C.E. and Director of Operations here at Gregory Pest Solutions. “Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control, but taking precautions, such as inspecting hotel rooms, beach rentals and cabins prior to settling in, is a critical first step in helping travelers avoid coming into contact with these blood-sucking pests.”

Keep these tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) top-of-mind when traveling this summer:

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire hotel room or rental before unpacking, including behind headboards, and around the bottom of cushions and seams of other furniture.
  • Pull back bed sheets and inspect mattress seams and box springs, particularly the corners, for pepper-like stains or shed bed bug skins. 
  • Use a large plastic trash bag or a protective cover to store your luggage during your stay.
  • Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces. The safest place is typically in the bathroom in the middle of a tile floor or on a luggage rack after it has been thoroughly inspected. Do not use a luggage rack if it has hollow legs, where bed bugs may hide unseen.
  • If any pests are spotted, notify management and change rooms or properties immediately. If staying in a hotel, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room.
  • When you return home, inspect and vacuum your suitcases thoroughly before bringing them into the home. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs.
  • Wash all your clothes – even the items not worn – in hot water or dry on high heat.

“If you suspect that bed bugs may have hitchhiked a ride into your abode, contact us to recommend a course of treatment,” advised Motes.

For more information on our bed bug remediation, click here.