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Bed Bugs & Holiday Travel

By Chris Williams on November 25, 2015.

I know you are thinking, really? The last thing people are probably thinking about with their holiday travel plans are picking up bedbugs along the way. You want to spend time with family that you have not seen in a while, but the facts are that bedbugs do move with people. Not once have I treated a single family home where they were not accidently introduced somehow. Someone traveled recently and picked them up, or someone traveling stayed there recently and left some behind. Or maybe someone found some “treasure’ at a yard sale. They do not just show up at the front door all by themselves. The only exception to that statement would be for an unfortunate apartment dweller living down the hall from an infested unit, and I’ve seen that happen plenty of times.

So what to do to avoid this? If you are traveling and staying in hotels, then I would never be without a powerful LED flashlight. Prices for these have come way down and performance of these small wonders keeps on improving. A 500-lumen output flashlight will run you about $30. Oh, is that too much money? Fine, just go ahead and price out bed bug treatment options, and I’ll see you when you get back. There are some very good links out there to show you how to inspect your hotel room prior to putting away your stuff. I myself will never use any luggage rack and the first stop for my bags is the bathtub, because I can very quickly see if anything is there. Then, I’ll strip the bed carefully checking the mattress edge-to-edge and top to bottom. Next, I’ll check the box spring the same way, and finally the bed frame itself. Headboards, night tables, and pictures also get checked and if I can remove them to get a better look then I do that. The last areas I’ll check are the cove base and then the dressers. While this may sound a bit extreme, it really isn’t since I’ve seen firsthand what a tough and resilient insect the bed bug is. I sure as hell am not about to let my guard down and introduce them to my home. Happy travels to you all!

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