Traveling and Bed Bugs: What to Know to Avoid Infestation

What To Know About Traveling and Bed Bugs

Bed bugs concern travelers, as hotels, Airbnbs, cruise ships, and other accommodations can unknowingly harbor these sneaky pests. While bed bugs were nearly eradicated in the 1940s, they have made a significant resurgence over the past few decades. Their ability to hide in suitcases, clothing, and other travel items has led to their rapid spread worldwide.

Anyone who travels regularly should educate themselves on spotting signs of bed bugs during their stay. Additionally, travelers should rigorously inspect their luggage and belongings once they return home to ensure they don’t spread an infestation.

Being proactive is critical to preventing bed bugs from invading your home and causing months of headaches trying to eliminate them.

What to Look For When Traveling

Carefully inspect your hotel room, rental home, or cruise ship cabin before unpacking or relaxing. Pull back sheets and check the mattress seams, box spring, and headboard for any small red or brown spots that could be bed bug evidence.

Look for live bugs themselves, which are flat, oval-shaped, and reddish-brown. Inspect crevices in bed frames and furniture. Bathrooms should also be checked around the toilet and behind the headboard.

Look for dark spots on walls or furniture, blood smears on sheets, and molted bed bug skins. There may be a sweet, musty odor in heavily infested rooms. Bites on your body in the morning can also indicate bed bugs, though some travelers don’t react to them.

The greatest risk of traveling and bed bugs is often in lodging with a high turnover of guests, such as hotels, hostels, and cruise ships. However, even luxury hotels can experience bed bug problems. It’s crucial to inspect thoroughly regardless of accommodation type.

Traveling and Bed Bugs: What to Know to Avoid Infestation

Preventing Bed Bugs at Home After Travel

Once you return from a trip, take precautions against bringing bed bugs into your house.

  • Inspect luggage carefully – Empty contents onto a white sheet and look for bugs or dark stains. Thoroughly check luggage linings and seams.
  • Wash all clothing immediately – Use hot water and dry on the highest heat setting to kill bed bugs. This includes clothes worn during travel.
  • Seal luggage in plastic bags – Bag your luggage if any infestation concerns and store it away from bedrooms.
  • Vacuum suitcases – Use the brush and crevice tools to remove potential bugs. Discard the vacuum bag outside immediately.
  • Inspect electronics – Bed bugs can be hidden in laptops, chargers, cameras, etc. Check all sides and seams.
  • Freeze small items for at least four days – This can kill bed bugs on things like books or souvenirs.
  • Leave shoes outside – Shoes should be inspected and left outside until you’re confident they’re pest-free.
  • Shower and change clothes – Wash immediately after returning home to avoid spreading bugs indoors. Put travel clothes in a sealed bag.
  • Dry clean clothes if concerned – Heat from professional dry cleaning can eliminate bed bugs on garments.
  • Monitor for signs – Look for bites or bugs found around the house for at least a few weeks after traveling.
  • Consider proactive treatment – You may want to hire a pest control company to do a preventative inspection or treat your home for peace of mind.

Do You Suspect Bed Bugs After Traveling?

If you suspect your home has become infested after a trip, take action quickly!

Contact a reputable pest control company like Wilkins Wildlife BedBug 911, specializing in bed bug elimination. The sooner you deal with an infestation, the easier it is to eliminate the pests. Bed bugs are challenging to eradicate once established.

Wilkins Wildlife BedBug 911 serves residents on the Eastern Shores of Delaware, Virginia and Maryland. 

Don’t live with a bed bug infestation – get help immediately after identifying the problem. With proper diligence, bed bugs don’t have to be an inevitable nuisance for travelers.

Inspect carefully, take preventative measures with luggage and belongings, and act quickly at any sign of infestation. When dealing with traveling and bed bugs, being proactive and using proper identification tips can help you keep bed bugs out of your home and ensure pest-free vacations.

Contact Wilkins Wildlife BedBug 911 for effective bed bug treatment and removal services.