This pest isn’t a bat, cockroach, or even a rodent! It is the tiny, elusive bed bug. These parasites can be recognized by their flat, oval bodies that are a reddish brown. They grow to be about a ¼ inch long, and will swell slightly and become a darker shade of red as they feed on blood.
Bed bugs will hide in tiny creases and crevices, especially in bedding, to be close to their food source. You will have to look for them as you travel. Common places to find them include: the seams of seats on planes, trains, busses, and taxicabs; under pillows and tucked into folds in sheets; along the crevices of bed frames; along the seams of your mattress; in the creases of soft chairs and sofas in sitting areas; and in electrical outlets and electronics such as televisions, computers, and stereo equipment. Bed bugs can also leave tiny red or brown spots on sheets from blood and feces. Not a pleasant site for sure!
Other common places to find bed bugs include: hospitals, libraries, department stores, movie theaters, and anywhere else there is fabric, furniture, or a human or animal host to feed on. As hard as these bugs are to find, the nymphs and eggs are even more difficult to spot because they are much smaller and almost naked to the human eye.
Bed bugs are not harmful, but they are a huge nuisance. Some people can have a reaction to their bites, and many will experience raised red, itchy bumps that when scratched can become susceptible to infection. Bed bugs multiply quickly and can be difficult to get rid of.
You will want to know how to avoid and prevent bed bugs while traveling. First, be aware as you travel. Do a quick scan for signs of bed bug activity in all modes of transportation and whenever you are in a public area. Always inspect your room before bringing luggage inside. If after settling into your room you find bed bugs, you should pack up, alert management, and ask for another room right away. Keep your suitcase and other items up off the ground and inspect all furniture and linens before using them. And remember, you can find bed bugs anywhere regardless of cleanliness.
To help prevent bringing bed bugs home with you from the holidays, you should unpack your luggage in a garage or porch area before entering your home. Immediately wash all clothing on the hottest setting allowed keeping the particular fabric requirements in mind and wipe down luggage before storing it. Even then, your may wind up with a bed bug problem.
In the event one or more of these bed bugs have hitched a ride in your luggage or on your clothing back to your home after the holidays, you will find them extremely difficult to get rid of, but don’t panic. The bed bug experts here at Hoffer Pest Solutions have effective strategies to eliminate bed bugs in South Florida homes and businesses. Just give us a call to find out which solutions are right for you.
Happy Holidays (and safe travels) from your friends here at Hoffer Pest Solutions!