June 4-10 is National Bed Bug Awareness Week and really there are only a few ways to observe this week of bed bug awareness: 1) get rid of bed bugs if you have them, and 2) make sure you don’t get bed bugs, particularly as you plan your summer vacation.
As we have talked to thousands of people who have bed bugs, travel is one of the primary ways that people pick up bed bugs, so you can’t be too careful when you head out for your summer fun. (In the event you were wondering, bed bugs coming from neighboring units in row homes and other multi-family housing, is the other primary way that people get bed bugs.)
Bed bug prevention starts before you leave home by going through reviews and reading other traveler’s experiences. You are really looking for an pattern of bed bug complaints, as even hotels with the best bed bug protocols can get them from time to time. (Check out the list of hotels with the highest bed bug complaints here: http://www.capitalk9bedbug.com/hotels-bed-bug-complaints-ranking.) When you travel, do a cursory check of the hotel room before you bring you belongings into the room or place your bags in the bathtub while you look around. Capital K9 Bed Bug Solution’s owner, Dave Pine recommends lifting up the headboard of the bed, which is typically hung on the wall. While not conclusive, this is an easy way to detect a more advanced infestation. You can also inspect hotel sheets and linens for black spots, which are another sign of bed bugs.
The two most important things to remember about bed bugs and summer travel are 1) if you encounter bed bugs you need to act right away and 2) don’t let the fear of bed bugs ruin your trip. Check your room, and if you have concerns run your belongings through the dryer (to the extent possible) when you get home.
Our friends at the National Pest Management Association have prepared this infographic highlighting a few places that bed bugs like to hide in hotel/motel rooms. (Can we accessed here as well: http://www.pestworld.org/multimedia-center/infographics/2017-bed-bug-awareness-week/)