How Not to Travel With Bed Bugs
A few heads were scratched over AOL Travel’s recent story about about bed bugs.
We weren’t scratching from the bugs, but from curiosity: Why would author Libby Zay do a piece on bed bugs ?
A comment from a reader actually suggested she needed “to get a life.”
Well, the truth is the nasty critters infest the very places travelers use: motels, hotels, planes,trains and buses. And bed bug infestation is increasing, it seems, because the decline in the use of pesticide has triggered a scourge of sorts.
Her story was right on.
I remember traveling with a companion who obsessively checked for bed bugs in the hotel room before we even checked in. Armed with a flash light, she’d ask to see the room we were assigned, pull back the mattress, inspect the lining, the bed frame, the box spring and even the furniture. The bed spread came under intense scrutiny as did the carpet. Any suspicions (droppings, dark stains, actual bugs) and we were out of there. Turns out she was doing all the right things, regardless of the stares from the insulted staff.
No less an authority than Ohio State University agrees. The site says one should thoroughly inspect any hotel or motel room with a flashlight, just as my traveling companion did. And it urges travelers to check their luggage too.
But how do you inspect a hotel for bed bugs without totally insulting the staff and making a scene?
I don’t know, but, hey, these nasty little things can ruin a vacation and their bites can drive unlucky victims to the brink of madness, so you have to do the right thing regardless.
Rick from Able Pest Control agrees with the intense hotel room inspection routine, and adds that when you return from your trip, you should wash everything in hot water, whether you've worn it or not, whether you encountered bed bugs or not, because you never know what’s lurking.
Rick also says:
- Take non-washables to the dry cleaner;
- Call a professional if you suspect you’re hosting bed bugs; and,
- Don’t try to treat the problem with pesticides.
The good news is bed bugs have nothing to do with bad hygiene. But that’s a tough one to explain to friends and neighbors.
Ever seen bed bugs on a trip?