If you are heading out on the open road for the family vacation or sending your child to camp this summer, bed bug awareness should be high on the priority list. Today kicks off National Bed Bug Awareness Week, so we have some helpful tips to keep from bringing home bed bugs.
Why the sudden resurgence in bed bug activity?
Several reasons, such as ban on chemicals, pesticide resistance, and complacency have been blamed for the uptick in bed bug activity. Though many factors have help contribute to the rise of bed bugs, the most widely recognized contribution to bed bug activity has been the rise of international travel. Several countries outside of the United States do not view bed bugs as a nuisance insect. To date bed bugs, through a series of test managed by the CDC, have not shown the capability of transmitting blood born illness. For this reason, some countries do not place an emphasis on controlling bed bugs. This is where international travel comes into to the picture. Due to the rise and dependence of a global economy, travel has become a key fixture in business. Time magazine recently released a list of the Top 50 Cities with Bed Bugs. The top cities are those with high international travel Chicago, Detroit, LA, Dallas. Three cities within the Palmetto Exterminators service range (Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, and Greenville) were on the list.
Key inspection areas for hotels.
Hotel stay is inevitable when traveling. When staying at a hotel, there are several tips that can help you reduce the risk of encountering bed bugs.
1. When you enter the hotel room. Place all items in the bathroom. Due to the hard surfaces and lack of a blood meal, bathrooms are a great place to store items.
2. Remove all bedding and inspect the mattress, focusing attention on the seams. If you observe any specs, such as those in the picture below, immediately gather your belongings and head to the front desk.
3. Inspect any bed side tables and dressers. Furniture near the bed is an excellent place for bed bugs to take shelter between visits. For the same reason, never place belongings in the hotel furniture. It is best to place luggage and clothing in the closet, as it is typically away from the beds.
4. Remove the bed frame from the cleat on the wall. Bed bugs can sense carbon dioxide and thus will inhabit the head region of the bed.
Camps, and what to remember.
Every year we receive calls from parents who have had kids pick up bed bugs at camp. Camps like hotels are filled with children from all over the country, and even world. Since camp layouts vary more than hotels, it is best to teach your child how to identify bed bugs.
1. Much like the list for hotels, teach your child(ren) where and what to look for.
2. If you son/daughter wakes up with bites or unidentifiable marks, make sure they speak with a counselor, as it could be bed bugs.
3. When your child returns from camp, wash all items that are washable on high heat and then dry on high heat. Bed bugs are susceptible to death in all stages of development in high heat ( 118 degrees for 60-90 minutes).
Even the most conscientious person can pick up a bed bug. If you have experienced any symptoms of bed bugs such as bites, blood spots, or you have seen a bed bug, call the professionals at Palmetto Exterminators for an inspection and quote.