Bed Bugs Travel Advice
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Many people that have suffered through a bed bug infestation describe it as a living nightmare and will do whatever it takes to make sure that they never repeat the experience again. This guide has been largely written for those people that want to take every precaution to avoid staying in bed bug infested quarters and more importantly, to avoid bringing bed bugs home when they return from travel. As a result the detailed nature of this guide may be overly comprehensive for individuals who are concerned, but not consumed, with protecting themselves when they travel.
This page has been written for the traveler concerned about bed bugs but feels that going to extraordinary measures during their travel is too much of an inconvenience or a hassle. The information below describes the most important actions compiled from the contents of “Complete Guide to Traveling Bed Bug Free”. This condensed version does not provide in depth explanations or advise the reader of important precautionary measures as does the comprehensive version.
Prior to Leaving on Your Trip
- Make sure that all of your mattresses and box springs are encased prior to leaving on your trip.
- This is a very important pro-active step that will prevent bed bugs from getting inside of your mattresses & box springs and will aid in the early detection of the bugs in the event that you accidentally bring bed bugs into your home. It is our opinion that the best encasement available is ‘BugLock™” manufactured by Protect-A-Bed®. The Bug Lock™ encasements are available through www.bedbugcentral.com.
- Pack Heavy Duty Plastic Bags in Your Car
- Purchase heavy duty (>2 ml) plastic bags that are large enough to place your luggage in. When you return from your trip it will be important to seal your luggage in these bags before placing them in your car. This will isolate any bed bugs that may be associated with your luggage and prevent your vehicle from becoming infested on your way back home. Once you arrive home you will be able to deal with your luggage and its contents using the recommendations provided later in this guide.
- Packing for your trip
- Hard shelled luggage is less bed bug friendly than fabric. Clothing that can be hot laundered or dry cleaned can be easily dealt with when you get home, however items that cannot be laundered such as electronics toiletries etc. can be packed in sealed Ziploc® bags to protect them from becoming infested should you encounter bed bugs.
During Your Stay at Your Destination
The likelihood of encountering bed bugs and bringing bed bugs home with you can be reduced by thoroughly inspecting your accommodations and taking measures to protect your luggage and its contents throughout your stay. Due to the inconvenience of many of the steps involved in protecting yourself from bed bugs during your travel, this section is limited to the most basic steps that will result in little to no inconvenience.
- Keep Luggage Closed and Away from Bed Bug Prone Areas
- Keep all zippers closed and do not place or store luggage on or next to beds, upholstered furniture or in a closet. The further away you store your luggage from these areas the better.
- Keep items that cannot be laundered in sealed Ziploc® Bags
- Items that cannot be laundered such as books, electronics, toiletries, jewelry etc should be kept sealed in Ziploc® bags whenever they are not in use. Even laptop computers can be kept in sealed Ziploc® bags when not in use, especially during the nighttime hours while you are sleeping.
- Conduct a Very Basic Inspection of the Bed
- A well established infestation of bed bugs may be detected by pulling back the bed linens and checking the visible edges of the mattress and box spring. You are looking for evidence of live bugs, dark brownish to black spots/stains or shed skins from bed bugs.
- Notify Property Management Immediately if You Suspect Bed Bugs
- Notify the property management if at anytime during your stay you see evidence of what you believe might be bed bugs or you begin to develop itchy welts on your body. Just because you see an insect or develop bite-like symptoms does not mean that bed bugs are present, but management should be aware of your concern so that the possibility of bed bugs can be investigated.