Some who know me personally, knows my husband also works for the OSU Extension Service as an Agriculture Agent. This can be an interesting mix in some cases, and a double “whammy” in others – as is the case with Bed Bugs. Several years ago we both spent a day in Bed Bug Training from both the Agriculture/Entomology side and the Home Economic/Housing view. Needless to say – we are both bed bug savvy and have taught numerous workshops and training on the little critters.
It is no wonder that when we travel, as was the case over Fall Break, we inspect our hotel rooms before we bring any luggage through the door. (Note: Branson, MO is a highly tourist area and it is no surprise there are issues with this insect. It has nothing to do with cost or cleanliness of the hotel!) Imagine our surprise when in the middle of night #2, I find a live bed bug in my bed. Thank goodness for nighttime “necessity” or I would have never known!!
Anytime you travel your main goal should be – DON’T take any home. Which was our focus before and after we encountered the bug.
Here are the simple things that can help keep you Bed Bug Free as you travel and return home.
- Always inspect the room. Look under the mattresses and box springs. Use the plastic room key to dig into the seams. *which we both did and found nothing!
- Do not leave suitcases on the floor, on any soft surface or bed. *There was no luggage rack in the room, so I left the suitcase upright on the floor by the bathroom, but still on carpet – that is why we no longer have that suitcase!
- Put all dirty clothing in plastic bags and tie it off. As soon as you get home unload the dirty clothes straight into the washing machine. *Which we did
- As soon as you realize there are Bed Bugs in the room contact management and move out. *We kind of did! I waited until the next morning since I didn’t want to wake up and move a sleeping 4 year old in the middle of the night.
- Don’t take pillows, blankets or stuffed animals into the hotel room. *We did! My daughter likes a certain blanket and stuffed animal at night. So, we had the hotel take the items and put them into their dyer on a high heat for at least 30 minutes. When they returned them to us they were in a plastic bag and we talked our daughter out of needing them for the rest of our stay. At home I repeated the process, but included a wash cycle for the blanket.
- Stay aware once you are home. Change the sheets often, inspect your own bedding regularly by vacuuming the seams of the mattress and box springs. If you travel often invest in a Bed Bug approved cover for your home bedding. *we are in the process of this, and hopefully you won’t see a future blog post about hiring a pest control company!!
It just goes to show even TWO “experts” are no match for this little pest!