Bugged by Bed Bugs: Avoid Bringing Home the House Guests from Hell
Bed bugs are the souvenirs that no one wants to bring back home from a vacation. But, unfortunately, these nasty bugs continue to be a huge problem in the United States. According to the 2013 Bugs Without Borders Survey, which was conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, nearly 100 percent of all pest professionals who responded to their study said they had treated a bed bug infestation in the past year.
Although most bed bug infestations were reportedly in residential properties, hotels were the second most common site that pest professionals were asked to treat for these blood-sucking insects. And it's not just seedy motels that can be infested with bed bugs. According to the Seattle Times, even luxury hotels can fall prey to these nasty little buggers.
Before booking a hotel room for your next trip, check out The Bed Bug Registry online. You will have to take the information on this site with a grain of salt. For instance, just because someone reported that a hotel had a bed bug infestation two years ago doesn't mean that the facility is still crawling with the critters. On the other hand, if you see that a property has had a rash of recent reports about bed bug problems, you may want to avoid it.
Check Out Your Room
It's always better to be safe than sorry. Even if you're staying in an expensive suite in the best hotel in town, you should take the time to check out your bedding. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should start by looking under the linens on your bed and also under the mattress for small black spots, which is the insect's excrement—or even a previous guest's blood stains. If the insects haven't scurried away, you may even spot them. These little bugs, according to Fox News Magazine, are similar in size and shape to an apple seed.
Take Care of Your Luggage
Just like you, bed bugs love to travel, so they will find your suitcase and clothing as the perfect way to hitch a ride to your home. To prevent the buggers from heading home with you, the Seattle Times recommends placing your personal items and suitcases on hard surfaces such as a table. Bed bugs prefer to hide close to where their sources of blood will sleep as well as in softer items such as the carpeting or in pull-out couches.
Uh-Oh, It Happened
Occasionally, "it" happens. Despite all of the precautions you have taken, you are now seeing signs of bed bugs in your home. Maybe a few of the nasty buggers managed to slip into your luggage or a house guest may have accidentally transported them into your home. It's possible you may have even gotten them at your local clothing store. New York Magazine recently reported on a bed bug outbreak that had occurred at an Urban Outfitters outpost in New York City.
So what do you do now? The EPA suggests that you wash and clean your clothing and bedding at high temperatures. You also may want to contact a professional pest control firm to safely treat your home. In addition, consider investing in encasements for your mattress, box spring and pillows. If you have any living bugs on these items, the encasements will trap them and prevent them from re-infesting your bedding.
A great preventative measure is to keep a washable mattress protector on your mattress. Nest Bedding is committed to providing our customers with great information and products to provide you a healthy sleep environment.