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When Thanksgiving Guests Bring Bed Bugs as a Side Dish!

By Chris Williams on November 22, 2016.

The guest room is clean and ready, the turkey is thawed, pies are made, guests are due to arrive for a home-style Thanksgiving. Better hope they’re not bringing bed bugs with them. It’s a rare event but it does happen, particularly when guests have been traveling and don’t arrive directly from their homes. Stops along the way to your house could allow bed bugs to creep into their luggage.

Your Darling College Student May Be a Carrier

Returning college students are the Thanksgiving visitors most likely to bring along bed bugs. Dormitories and student housing are notorious for occasional bed bug infestations. Your child may be unknowingly bringing bed bugs home in that huge bag of laundry or hidden inside a suitcase, backpack, or computer bag.

So, what can you do to make sure bed bugs aren’t arriving for Thanksgiving? With your kids, if you’re sneaky you can take precautions without them even knowing you are doing so. First, grab that bag of laundry and the rest of your child’s clothes before they can be hung up or placed in drawers. That’s right, wash everything, dirty or not in the highest water temperature allowed for the fabric. Then make sure you dry everything (this is the most important step) at the highest allowed temperature for 15-20 minutes. The high heat will kill all stages of bed bugs. Your child will just think you are being extra fastidious, or extra loving, not knowing you have an ulterior motive.

Check for Bed Bugs While the Turkey is Roasting!

Emptying the suitcase or duffle to do laundry also allows you to check it for any evidence of bed bugs. Then, it’s a good idea to vacuum out the suitcase as well (again, just being helpful). Stow the suitcase or duffle in a far away non-sleeping room like a porch or garage. Finding a way to check backpacks and other items that kids bring home is trickier. If you think it’s important to do so, you’ll find a way.

After the holiday is over and guests are gone, take a look as you remake the beds for any evidence of bed bugs on sheets or mattresses: live or dead bugs, shed skins, dark spots on sheets. Afterwards, don’t close up and forget about the room either since it can take some time for a bed bug infestation to become apparent. Check the guest room or kid’s room periodically and check your own bedroom as well.

If you find anything suspicious after guests are gone, don’t hesitate to call an exterminator. Getting rid of bed bugs is not easy, the sooner you can find and treat them, the better.

For tips on inspecting for bed bugs, check out these blogs:

Photo Credit : Public Domain

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