How to Avoid Bed Bugs - A Christmas Travel Guide
December 21, 2016
At Hoffer, we know how to get rid of bed bugs when an infestation takes root in your Florida home, but we would prefer it if you didn't get bed bugs in the first place. This is a pest that usually torments people long before they pick up the phone to give us a call and we really don't like the idea of you being tormented at all. So, we've put together this quick travel guide to help you prevent bed bugs from coming home for Christmas.
Detection Is Key in the War Against Bed Bugs
Most people don't know what a bed bug looks like. We hope that you are not one of them. Recognizing a bed bug can help you take extra precaution to keep these blood-eating pests from hitching a ride back home with you once your Christmas traveling is done, or to keep friends and family from picking them up on the way to your house.
Identification: Bed bugs begin in tiny eggs that are as small as the tip on a pen. These eggs are white and are usually found in the creases and folds of luggage, pocketbooks, duffle bags, clothing, and bedding. After they hatch, bed bugs go through 5 instars (development stages) before they reach full maturity. In their first instar, bed bugs are nearly transparent. As they develop, they become less transparent and more of a reddish brown color. Through all stages, it is possible to see their insides, which are coated in black excrement. They can also be distinguished by their six legs and two antennae, through all 5 instars. Over time they will develop noticeable horizontal ridges on their abdomen that clearly distinguish these apple seed-sized bugs from other bugs.
Location Location Location
It is important to know all of the places you can pick bed bugs up when you travel.
Hotels and motels. We all know this one. But you may not know that bed bugs can be in the cleanest 5-star accommodations. Always do a bed bug inspection no matter where you stay.
Public transportation. If you plan to travel by plane, train, bus, boat, or some other form of public transportation, be aware that bed bugs can establish themselves in all of these. They can also infest taxi cabs, metro lines, and other public transport.
The home of your family or friends. Don't let your guard down just because you've arrived at your destination. It is also a good idea to do a quick bed bug inspection no matter where you are staying the night, even if it is the home of someone you know. Bed bugs can infest a home for months before they are discovered.
Knowing what bed bugs look like and what signs indicate the presence of a bed bug infestation can prevent bed bugs from coming home with you during the Christmas season. It only takes a little effort to do a quick inspection and to keep an eye out for these tiny pests. Public awareness is the most powerful weapon in the battle to stop bed bugs.
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Hoffer Pest Solutions; may yours be bed bug-free.