The holiday season is upon us here in St. Louis, and that means many of us will be packing our bags and hitting the road. Many Missourians enjoy traveling to visit relatives that we do not see very often or to take that annual vacation to clear the brain. Unfortunately bed bugs are also very good travelers, and, if you are not careful, it is very easy to bring them home with you.
Bed bugs are much more common than they once were, and you can pick them up just about anywhere; hotel rooms, cabs or buses, the office, or even a relative’s house that does not realize they are infested. Wherever you are traveling this holiday season, follow these simple tips to avoid bringing home that unwanted visitor:
Carefully inspect your room before unpacking anything. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, but are very flat. Depending on how recently they have eaten, they will be anywhere from a very pale amber to a dark reddish brown color. Bed bugs are excellent hiders. Check under sheets and pillows and along the mattress seams, under cushions of furniture, and in any small corners or crevices. Bed bugs have even been known to hide behind electrical outlets and baseboards. Other telltale signs include small blood stains on pillows and sheets, molted skins of growing bugs, and small white eggs.
If you suspect a bed bug problem, do not unpack anything, and immediately request a different room.
Do not store anything in the provided hotel dressers. Leave your clothes packed in your suitcase, and if there is a shelf the closet, store your suitcase in there. The higher off of the ground the better.
Store all dirty clothes in plastic bags, and put them back in your suitcase.
When you return home, wash all clothes, whether they are dirty or not, and dry on high heat.
By following these bed bug prevention tips you will greatly decrease the risk of introducing these pests into your home. If you are a resident or business located in the Saint Louis area and have further questions, or think you may have a bed bug infestation already, call Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions. We now offer canine bed bug detection and bed bug heat treatments in Saint Louis and throughout Mid-Missouri. Contact us online or call us at 1-877-ROTTLER for your free inspection.