Two of Black Diamond’s current markets — Louisville, KY and Indianapolis, IN — make the top cities reporting bed bug infestations. Yes, it is true that bed bugs are found in all 50 states, and they’re not only attracted dirty and cluttered homes. A nice, clean and tidy home works just as well for them. As long as they have a blood source to feed on, bed bugs do not care much about their living conditions. In fact, they can survive the most harsh conditions including temperatures as low at 23° F and as high as 120° F.
Although bed bugs can be found anywhere, from public transportation to movie theaters, one of the most common places where bed bugs are found are in hotel rooms. When you are traveling more frequently for business or pleasure or even while on your annual family vacation, your chances of picking up a hitchhiking bed bug increases. Follow these tips before booking your hotel as well as while staying in the hotel to help insure you stay bed bug free on your next trip!
1. Read hotel/motel reviews — Read the hotel reviews before booking on a website, such as TripAdvisor, and even search for the term “bed bugs” within the reviews.
2. Check under the bedding folds and tucks — Upon arrival to a hotel typically it is not everyone’s first move to completely unmake the bed, but this is a good idea while doing a bed bug check. Bed bugs are excellent at hiding, so be sure to check every corner.
3. Check in the mattress seams — Look in the mattress seems, under the box spring, and behind headboards for small black dots that look like mold or ground pepper.
4. Check in areas within 15 feet of the bed — Bed bugs may crawl up to 100 feet for a blood meal, so just because their name hints towards a bed, they may be hiding in various other spots. Look behind picture frames, under the telephone and alarm clock, and even in books
6. Don’t set your luggage on the bed — Keep your luggage off of the bed and ground. Bed bugs are photophobic, meaning that they tend to hide from light. A suitcase provides numerous hiding places for bed bugs which makes them such good hitchhikers.
5. If the luggage rack is wood, don’t use it — Bed bugs can easily climb wooden surfaces. If the establishment doesn’t provide a metal luggage rack, store your bags in the tub. Porcelain is another surface that bed bugs can’t climb. Just make sure to move your luggage to the sink while you take a shower.
7. Bag up used clothing — Store whatever clothing you’ve used in a large Ziploc bag after wearing and make sure the seal is tight. When you return from your trip, transfer the clothing directly to the washer. Even place all of your unworn clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes upon returning home.
7. Vacuum your luggage before storing it — Vacuuming your luggage before storing it will help take care of any small bed bugs that you may have missed or their eggs from sticking around too long to hatch and start an infestation in your home.
Don’t let bed bugs ruin your vacation! Being aware and educated about these pests is the first step in preventing an infestation. If you are worried that you may have brought bed bugs home with you from a recent trip, call Black Diamond for a free evaluation of your home!