Are you going to be spending Christmas with friends or family? We wanted to take a minute to remind you of some very important precautions you should consider to prevent bed bugs from coming back home with you. These blood-eating insects don't get into your house from your yard. They are hitchhiking bugs that ride there way in. So, before you head out the door this Christmas, take a moment to read this fact sheet about bed bugs.
How To Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling For Christmas
Deck for bed bugs if you stay somewhere. When you spend the night anywhere, you should always do a quick search for signs of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs leave black droppings and black streaks in areas where they live and travel. Use a flashlight or the light on your phone to look for these on blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and in the seams of all mattresses in the room. Streaks are also found on baseboards, wall outlet covers, and around the stitching on upholstered furniture. Look for blood staining and insect casings as well.
Be aware that bed bugs don't just establish themselves in dirty, run-down places. It is a common misconception that bed bugs only dwell in dirty places. This has never been true. For centuries, bed bugs have been found in the most opulent of palaces and castles. The same is true today. While bed bugs can definitely conceal themselves better in a cluttered environment, they are more than capable of infesting a clean and well-maintained structure. In fact, they are born with certain traits that keep them safe from almost all of our attempts to get rid of them. When bed bugs sense a threat, they hide. Sometimes, they can hide for months without feeding. And, when they feed, they will often skip several days between feedings, so bites don't accumulate and cause suspicion.
You can pick up bed bugs even if you don't stay overnight anywhere. It's true! Bed bugs don't just infest places that have a bed. They can feed on people when they sit or lounge. For this reason, infestations have been found in almost all forms of public transportation. If you're taking a bus, train, or plane, be on the lookout for these tiny transparent or rust-colored insects and the blood stains, feces streaks, and shed skins they leave around.
Be aware that you can get bed bugs from your friends and family. This is the most startling fact of all. If you get in your car and drive straight to the home of your friend or family member, you can still pick up bed bugs. These pests can live in a home for months, and even years, without being detected. A discreet bed bug inspection of the guest room can help keep any bugs from coming home with you.
Public awareness is the frontline defense against these clever, resourceful, and trauma-causing pests. Be safe this Christmas. A quick inspection and an alert eye may just save you from a bed bug nightmare.