For Americans, the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s holidays are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the number of long-distance trips (to and from a destination 50 miles or more away) increases by 54 percent during the Thanksgiving holiday, and 23 percent during the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period.
All those trips to visit relatives and friends make for crowded roads, airport terminals and train stations, and a lot of packing and unpacking. The back and forth also puts holiday travelers at a greater risk of coming into contact with one of the most travel-savvy pests out there – bed bugs.
This most unwanted pest knows no boundaries when it comes to choosing a location to infest. Bed bugs will infest beds, furniture and drapes in hotel rooms, seats in train cars, taxis, buses and movie theaters, and the luggage, shopping bags and backpacks we carry around.
As you hit the road this year, the Clark Man reminds you to be aware of bed bugs and take the appropriate steps prevent these pests from spoiling your holiday travels:
- Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspect, notify the front desk and change rooms or hotels immediately.
- Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs. If any pests are spotted, change rooms or establishments immediately.
- If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above or below the suspected infestation. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets.
- Place your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
- Pack and store your clothes is sealable plastic bags to prevent bed bugs from infesting them.
- Inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house and vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
- Wash your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers or closet.
If you think you have a problem with bed bugs, call or text Clark Pest Control at (800) 936-3339 or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will come out and properly identify whatever pest or pests we find, and then we’ll recommend a solution.
Until next time, I’m the Clark Man, and thanks for helping me keep unwanted pests out of your home.