With recent reports in the news of bed bugs in public buildings, like schools, in the greater D.C. area, you may be wondering what you can do to protect your family and your home from bed bugs. While bed bugs were nearly eradicated in the 1960s, they have made a huge comeback in recent years. The bed bugs themselves do not spread disease, but they can cause other problems including allergic reactions. Add that to the fact that they are hard to treat and exterminate, and you can understand why it is important to avoid getting them completely.
1. Check Before Any Hotel Stay
One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting bed bugs is to complete a throughout check of your hotel room before you stay the night. You should check the bedding to make sure it is free from stains and droppings. Bed bug droppings are small, but will smear a rust color stain if touched. Look behind the headboard to make sure you do not see signs of droppings or the bugs themselves. If your room looks clean, then you should still be careful with your luggage. Never place it directly on the bed or on the floor. Use the luggage rack that is provided in the room.
2. Check Your Luggage Before You Take It Inside
Bed bugs can crawl from one location to another. Be sure to check your luggage for signs of bugs before you leave the hotel room. You should also look for bed bugs again before you take your luggage inside of your home. You can purchase a special suitcase heater that will treat the luggage for bed bugs by heating it up. This can work as an extra precaution after any trips
3. Be Careful with Purse, Briefcase and Backpack
Many bed bugs are being spread in public buildings like schools or municipal buildings. Bed bugs do not travel around on people, but they will crawl into someone’s bag, and then out of it again looking for a new place to call home. Students can bring bed bugs to school in a backpack, and then they will wander out and infest the school or wander into another student’s backpack, especially if the backpacks are stored close together. When you are in a public place try to keep your bag or purse off the floor to reduce the chances of picking up bed bugs. If there are issues at your child’s school, then you may want to stop sending your child with a backpack until the situation is addressed.
4. Rethink Your Gym Bag
Gyms are another common area to pick up bed bugs without realizing it. Often a person will not realize that they may be spreading bed bugs when they take their bag to the gym. The bed bugs can get out and wander around the locker room looking for a new place to hide. If they wander into your gym bag, then you may end up taking the bugs home with you. If possible, you may want to consider changing and showering at home. If this is not feasible with your schedule, be sure to check your bag carefully for bed bugs before putting it in your car or taking it home.
If you think your home might be infested with bed bugs, contact EcoTek today for a free inspection and estimate for affordable bed bug control.