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family preparing for their holiday vacation

Will you be traveling for the holidays, or going on vacation during the colder months? The National Pest Management Association is reminding travelers to inspect for bed bugs, to reduce the spread of these blood eating insects.

According to a 2013 NPMA/University of Kentucky survey, 75 percent of pest controllers treated for bed bugs in hotels, and 21 percent treated for bed bugs in trains, buses, and taxis. Travelers should be aware of these bugs and take precautions, to prevent bringing them home. A single bed bug can infest a home with hundreds, in a few short months.

Bed bugs are not vectors for disease, but they can cause emotional trauma, and displace families from their homes. Public awareness is the key to preventing infestations.

When traveling, follow these simple tips:

  1. When checking into new accommodations, even if it is a five star hotel, put your luggage on the tiled floor in the bathroom.

  2. Make a check of the beds in the room, by pulling down the covers and looking for bugs or the dried blood stains they leave behind. Bed bugs have a tick-like appearance, if they have recently had a blood meal, and are tiny and seed-like if they have not.

  3. Pull up the sheets and examine the edges and corners of the mattress and box spring for black sticky residue. If you find bugs, stains, or black fecal residue, contact hotel management immediately, and asked to be placed in a new room. Be sure that the new room is not adjacent, above, or below the old room.

  4. Keep all clothing off the floor during your stay, and keep your luggage in a plastic trash bag.

  5. When you return home, inspect the seams of your bags for bugs, and wash all your clothing on the hottest temperature.

There is still a stigma attached to having bed bugs. Though it is true that bed bugs will thrive in a dirty environment, these bugs will live in any home where they are able to have a blood meal. These simple tips can save you from the humiliation of a bed bug treatment. Stay safe, stay vigilant, and keep these bugs out of your house this holiday season.

Tags: bed bugs st. louis  |  bed bugs and travel  |  bed bug control  |  pest prevention tips

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