Post-Quarantine Vacation Plans?
Many states are beginning to lift stay-at-home restrictions just in time for the summer travel season, and Americans across the country are getting ready to embark on their highly anticipated vacations. As excitement around the prospect of traveling again grows, it’s easy to forget one tiny, but trip-altering threat – bed bugs. While these elusive pests are found just about everywhere, they are especially common in hotel rooms, making the start of the summer travel season the perfect time to raise awareness. This Bed Bug Awareness Week,June 7-13, with the help of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), we’re sharing bed bug inspection tips to help keep travelers safe from these blood–sucking pests.
But, people haven’t been traveling the last few months while everything has been locked down. So why would we need to worry about bed bugs in the next several months? Aren’t bed bugs only bad when a lot of people are traveling all over the globe?
“While hotel occupancy may have been down across the country in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers should be aware that bed bugs are still present as they can survive months without feeding,” said Mike Cater, Branch Manager for Franklin Pest Solutions-Hammond. “Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can stow away in suitcases, purses and other items, making inspection crucial to preventing an infestation when you return home.
Bed Bug Prevention Vacation Tips
With over six million online conversations in the U.S. on the topic of finding bed bugs in April 2020 alone,* Franklin Pest Solutions is sharing bed bug prevention tips to help travelers avoid unwanted encounters this travel season:
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room for bed bugs before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights and inside dressers, drawers, sofas and chairs.
- Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams and box spring, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains, spots or shed bed bug skins.
- Carry a small flashlight or use the flashlight app on your phone to assist you with quick visual inspections.
- Place suitcases in a plastic trash bag during the duration of the trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
- Vacuum and properly inspect suitcases after returning from a vacation. Do not bring the suitcase into your home until it has been inspected.
- Vacuum and inspect your car, paying close attention to the seats and trunk to ensure no bed bugs made the journey home with you.
- If you think you may have brought bed bugs home with you, seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation, as this is not a do-it-yourself pest.
“Bed bugs are not among the souvenirs you want to bring home from vacation. If you do suspect an infestation, contact hotel management immediately and ask to switch rooms” added Cater. And if something does happen, know that Franklin Pest Solutions is here for you with options to help give you the protection you need and peace of mind you deserve.
Bed Bug Facts
Here’s a list of some scientific facts about bed bugs. See how many you already knew!
- They are found worldwide and are thought to have come to the U.S. from Europe in the 17th century.
- Bed bugs primarily feed on humans, but they can also feed on warm-blooded animals including birds, mice and family pets.
- Adults are just under ¼” long, relatively flat and oval in shape compared to most other insects.
- The female bed bug can lay one to five eggs per day and more than 500 in a lifetime.
- Bed bugs can survive for several months without eating.
- They can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bed bugs draw blood for about five minutes before retreating to digest.
- Hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress.
- They can ingest seven-times their own weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average-sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid.
- Components in bed bug saliva act as an anesthetic and promote increased blood flow at the bite site, making the bed bug’s feeding process quick and nearly painless, and helps to keep the host from waking up.
Pests happen. We’re here to help!