With high levels of travel so does the spread of Bed Bugs.
Many jobs in the Huntsville and Madison areas require travel, increasing the risk and the rate of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs love to hitch a ride from one host location to another, often hiding out in luggage, handbags, and backpacks. They have survived through the years by being sneaky, and by adapting to be very good at hiding.
It is common for people to come back from an otherwise pleasant and productive trip with these little hitchhikers looking to make themselves a new home. Unfortunately many of the traditional thoughts on who usually gets bed bugs and how they spread are wrong. I often hear, “I can’t have bed bugs, I’m extremely clean;” or people associate getting bed bugs with staying at dirty or cheap hotels. While the nicer hotels generally catch bed bug infestations sooner, and they are better at preventing them through their rigorous cleaning practices, any hotel is susceptible to having an infestation. It is also true that bed bugs even infest clean homes just as often as dirty ones.
How to protect yourself while traveling
A good habit to acquire while traveling, is to check the bed before you sleep in it. Yes, it can be inconvenient, but it isn’t all that hard. The first place to look is to pull up the fitted sheet, and look at the seams on the mattress. Bed bugs love the seams, and are often found on the corners. Next, the headboard is a common hiding location. You may not find actual bugs in these locations if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but it is usually fairly easy to find the evidence they leave behind. Look for little black to dark red spots. These are the fecal spots they leave after feeding. Also look for the shed exoskeletons they leave after a molt. It is also common to find little blood spots or streaks. If a bed bug overfeeds it will often vomit out the extra blood, leaving a mark behind.
If you find anything questionable, it is best to ask for a different room. Better safe than sorry! These same inspection practices can be put into place in your own home, giving you an advanced warning if you do end up with an infestation. If you can catch it early, it is much easier (and less expensive) to control.
What to do if Bed Bugs still make it home with you
On a final note, if you do end up finding signs of bed bugs, stay calm. They aren’t know to spread disease, and for all but the most allergic, their bite marks will heal and disappear within a few days of eliminating them. That being said, these are not the bugs you want to try to treat on your own. Unfortunately many of the products sold in home improvement stores, and many of the methods found on the internet just don’t work. Save yourself some time and headache and call a professional. If you want to read about some home DIY bed bug treatments gone wrong, look here, or here, or here.
If you do find yourself with a bed bug problem, or if you even suspect that you may have one, give us a call. With our fast and easy inspection and treatment process, we can take the headache and frustration out of the situation.
Consider Proactive monitoring systems to catch bed bugs in early stages
On a final note, if you travel often, and would be interested in a proactive way of monitoring for bed bugs, we do have a service we provide that will help to catch the bugs in the very early stages of an infestation, and that also can allow you to skip the high expense usually associated with bed bug treatments. For more information, give us a call today!