Bed bug preparation starts long before you leave home. A bed bug infestation is a nasty business and no one wants to pay for bed bug treatments after they just got home from a vacation. Decrease your chances of bed bugs by preparing before you pack your bags.
Before You Leave
Stock up on heavy-duty plastic bags of varying sizes. This will help prevent bed bugs from hitchhiking on your clothes once you’ve put them back in your suitcase.
Pick a size of plastic bag that can fit anything you pack, including clothes, shoes, or even large coats. If you can’t find any extra large plastic bags at the grocery store (such as 2 or 5 gallon bags), some home improvement stores and online retailers sell an assortment of oversized plastic bags that will keep the bed bugs out.
You may even want to swap out your soft-sided, fabric luggage for a hard shell suitcase. Bed bugs aren’t able to cling to plastic the way they do to fabric.
For a Road Trip
Once you have an assortment of plastic bags, you’ll need to sort the clothing you’re bringing and the supplies you need for daily use and type as part of bed bug preparation. Preplanning and packing for each day’s needs will eliminate having to bring your suitcase into the room, and reduces the risk of bed bug contamination. Packing just a day’s necessities in a ziplock bag lets you bring what you need, and protects the rest of your luggage.
Traveling by Air or Train
If you don’t have a car to store your bags nearby, switch to hardshell luggage for bed bug preparation. Soft-sided, fabric bags have many seams and zippers, where bed bugs can hide and travel everywhere with you.
If you don’t want to travel with hard-sided luggage, make sure that you bring plenty of large, heavy-duty plastic bags to keep your clothes bed bug free. Use great caution when you open or close your luggage so no bugs can crawl inside.
Tips for All Travelers
Avoid placing anything on the bed or the floor. Bed bugs live in these spaces, and it’s easy for them to crawl onto your luggage and come home with you. It’s best to place luggage on the folding luggage rack or hang it from a closet rod.
If you want to be more tech savvy, a UV (ultraviolet) bug light can help you find signs of bed bugs. A UV light is about the size of a small flashlight and can be found at home improvement stores. Normally used to find urine stains and scorpions, they’re useful for bed bug preparation because bed bugs glow under the UV light. Wait until dark or close the room’s draperies and shine the light carefully over the bed, floor, and furniture. If you see any glowing specks in those areas, the room may have bed bugs.
Wait until dark or close the room’s draperies and shine the light carefully over the bed, floor, and furniture. If you see any glowing specks in those areas, the room may have bed bugs.
Bring along talcum/baby powder as part of your bed bug preparation. Bed bugs have bristly hairs on their shells and will be paralyzed if you sprinkle talcum powder on them. If you see any using the UV light or with your naked eye, there may be enough time once you’ve dusted them to notify the front desk and change rooms.
Should you request a room change, make sure you don’t get an adjoining room, either side-by-side or top to bottom. Bed bugs can travel through tiny cracks in walls and floors.
The time and money you spend for bed bug preparation before traveling helps you avoid bringing these insects home with you. Taking the time to prepare for bed bugs before traveling saves you in time and money if they infest your home.
If you do end up bringing home bed bugs, give Budget Brothers a call. We offer inspections and a variety of treatment options.