The holiday season is a beautiful time of year when we spend a little time reflecting on all that we have to be grateful for, and often getting to see and spend time with our loved ones. Despite the beauty of the season it’s also the most stressful time of year for many, as the pressure of trying to do it all, from holiday baking to hosting or attending parties, buying and wrapping gifts for everyone you know, and traveling to see friends and family both near and far can really pack the days and place undue expectations on ourselves or others. With the increase of guests in your home or your own travels, now you also have to be concerned with the increased risk of bed bugs. Yes, unfortunately, add bed bugs to your list of things to deal with this holiday season, as they are a concern whenever you travel or invite guests into your home.
How to Look for Bed Bugs
If you’re spending time in a hotel or someone’s guest room, take a minute to inspect the room for bed bugs before you dive into bed or unpack your things.
Put your luggage in the bathtub or on a luggage rack. If neither is available, bring along a garbage bag and put your luggage inside it before placing on the floor.
Pull the blanket and sheets off the bed and check the corners and entire mattress for bugs or dark brown spots of blood.
Use your phone’s flashlight or an actual flashlight and check all four corners of the bed carefully for the tiny bed bugs or signs of blood. You can use a credit card to pull at the seams and folds of the mattress, where the bugs like to hide.
If there is upholstered furniture in the room, check it over carefully the same way, paying extra attention to the seams.
Check the curtains, again with an eye to the seams, pleats, headings, and returns.
Look behind the bedposts, bed frame, and behind pictures hanging on the walls.
If you find any signs of bed bugs, ask for a different room or leave immediately.
How to Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs in Your Home
Separate your laundry into garbage bags before you leave a hotel or guest room the way you would separate them to wash (light with light, delicate items away from items that can be washed on regular cycles, etc). At home or the laundry mat, load the washer a bag at a time. Having the laundry separated means you can quickly load the washer and avoid escaping bugs as you sort through the clothing to separate. Wash and dry on the hottest settings possible to kill bed bugs. Carefully inspect your suitcases and any other items that cannot be washed in the washing machine. Hand wash these in the hottest water possible and consider drying them by hand with a hair dryer at the highest heat setting. Use a scrub brush along any folds and seams.
What to Do if You Bring Bed Bugs Home
If you discover you’ve brought bed bugs into your home, or perhaps a guest has spent time in your home and brought bed bugs in with his or her clothing or luggage - don’t despair. Bed bug infestations can be incredibly hard to eradicate, but Parkway Pest Services has the know-how and the equipment to get the job done. We can put in the time it will take to assess your situation, craft a treatment plan, and carry it through to complete eradication, making sure that not a single bug survives. Sure bed bugs mean another thing to think about this holiday season, but even if the worst happens you can still find peace during the holidays. A call to Parkway Pest Services is all you need to do to eliminate your bed bug infestation, and a pest-free home is a home half-ready for the season of love and joy.