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Who doesn’t love the Holidays? There is nothing like the smell of turkey cooking, freshly baked pies, and a warm fire in the fire place. Over 49 million Americans traveled to visit friends and relatives during Thanksgiving week, and over 98.6 million Americans are expected to travel to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. When we travel during the holidays the focus is on family, traditions and making memories. One thing that you are not likely to think about is the number of pests that are wonderful hitchhikers and more than happy to grab a ride with you to either your final destination or to go along with you as you return home. Pests like bed bugs, spiders and mice all travel well. Each can bring their own unique problems should you happen to have it stow away in your luggage.

Bed bugs are a huge issue right now in all states. These pests move undetected into a home and prefer the bed, though they are willing to live in a comfy chair, as long as they can feed off their unsuspecting host, blood being on their preferred menu. Spiders too will hide out in your suitcase or those family heirloom pieces your grandmother sent home with you. Mice travel too. If they can get into your car undetected you might be bringing along hantavirus or salmonella on your trip.

Do yourself a huge favor this year as you travel. Check your luggage and clothes for any eggs, bugs, or droppings that might indicate the presence of unwanted pests. If your bag is stored away make sure you vacuum it thoroughly before packing your clothing. If you are staying in a hotel during your travels, check it out first. Check the bed for any signs of bed bugs, especially under the head of the mattress. You might be looking for blood stains or fecal stains or even the tiny bugs themselves. Realistically take these precautions even if you are staying with family. You don’t want to take back anything with you that you didn’t intend. If you are to bring a gift to your host, especially flowers or a wreath make sure that you are not giving them more than you bargained for. Sometimes pests will hide very well in the greenery of a wreath or poinsettia.

When it is time to go home, again, check out your luggage. It takes only a few minutes for something to have moved in without you realizing it. Shake out your clothing well before you pack it and when you get home make sure you wash it all very thoroughly on the warmest settings. Again, vacuum your suitcase and store it in a sealed plastic case. Clean out your car if you drove and make sure that some out-of-state mouse doesn’t move in.

If you think you may have introduced pests to your home while you traveled for Christmas, or if you discover that you have an infestation of any kind give us a call at All American Pest Control. Our professional service team will be on their way to help you discover what pests you have and to help you get your home pest-free for the New Year.