It’s Bed Bug Season: Are You Ready?


According to Longwoods International, a Columbus, Ohio-based travel research firm, 89 percent of American travelers are planning a trip in the next six months. And as excitement around the prospect of traveling again grows, it’s easy to forget one tiny, but trip-altering threat – bed bugs. While these elusive pests are found just about everywhere, they are especially common in hotel rooms and vacation rentals, making the start of the summer travel season and the return to business travel the perfect time to raise awareness. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can make their way into suitcases, backpacks, clothing, etc., making it essential that travelers protect themselves while away from home. 

Bed Bugs Didn’t Go Away 

Pests in general were not impacted by the pandemic. Except for rodents that relied upon garbage from restaurants as their food source, pests went about their business as if nothing changed. While hotel occupancy may have been down across the country due to the pandemic, travelers should know that bed bugs are still present as they can survive months without feeding. 
Ashley Heavrin, director of customer experience at Rottler, says the company anticipates an increase in calls regarding bed bugs in the coming months. “Bed bugs did not disappear over the last year and with families taking vacations and business travel returning we’ll likely see an uptick in service requests for bed bugs,” says Heavrin. Bed bugs are often be confused with pests like carpet beetles and having a correct identification is the first step to finding a solution. Customers can collect a sample and share it with their service technician or email/text Rottler a photo of the suspected insect. Once a correct identification is made, a complete inspection of their home will be done, and recommendations for the appropriate treatment made.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

Where do bed bugs hide lying in wait for their next meal? These blood-sucking pests like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment. They can be found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and in furniture crevices. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to its origin.

Bed Bugs Prevention Tips 

With over six million online conversations in the U.S. on the topic of finding bed bugs in April 2020 alone, Heavrin offers the following tips to help travelers avoid an unwanted encounter with bed bugs:

  • Mattresses are the number # 1 location for bed bugs. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams and box spring, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains, spots, or shed bed bug skins.
  • Thoroughly inspect the rest of the room before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights and inside dressers, drawers, sofas, and chairs.
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
  • Place your suitcase in the shower or bathtub during your stay so bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure. 
  • Once you return home from vacation or your business trip, vacuum and properly inspect suitcases before bringing them inside your home. Do not bring the suitcase into your home until it has been inspected. 
  • Vacuum and inspect your car, paying close attention to the seats and trunk to ensure no bed bugs made the journey home with you. 

If you think you may have brought bed bugs home with you, seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation. Protect your family from bed bugs with Rottler Pest Solutions today.