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Bed Bugs - Travelling Without Getting Stung
With the rash of reports from travelers around the world getting stung by bedbugs and bringing them home it is no wonder people are in fear every time they leave home. Whether you are hiking in a remote area staying in a flophouse or traveling first class staying at a five star resort you are in danger of an attack of these blood thirsty vermin. Here are a few things you can do to dramatically reduce your chance of bed bug bites though.
• First, never put your bags or clothes on the bed. This common mistake is a virtual invitation for the bugs to hitch a ride home with you. Never leave your clothes or bags on the hotel floor.
• Look behind the headboard and pull the bed out a foot or so look all around the bed for black specks. These creatures are very small if you see anything suspicious call the front desk. Leave the bed out from the wall during your stay. Bed bugs can not fly so if they have been coming from the nightstand they will have to get to you some other way.
• Take a roll of clear packing tape with you while you travel. Wrap the legs of the bed sticky side out to trap the bed bugs trying to get to you. I know this seems extreme but you would rather feel weird than get stung.
• Pull all of the bedding off the sides of the bed and look under the seams of the mattress. You are looking for something that looks like dirt smudges. This is the trail of blood and feces left by the bed bugs. If you find this leave the hotel once you find an infestation you should leave as fast as possible.
• If you are an avid traveler I suggest taking two new king-size sheets and sewing them together on the bottom and sides. Use this at night like a big sleeping bag. Make sure and inspect and fold in the morning. Place this in a garbage bag and seal it while returning home. Unpack this before anything else and wash with the hottest water you have before using again.
• Before leaving the hotel carefully inspect you luggage. Look under all the seams, the bugs you are looking for are sometimes small as a pinhead. Any discoloration, red marks, or stains are tell-tale signs of bed bugs.
• Upon arriving home do not unpack your luggage in your bedroom. Unpack your luggage in your garage. Immediately wash your clothes in the hottest setting your fabrics will stand. Bag up any dry cleaning and take it there ASAP. Leave your luggage in the garage or place a bag around the luggage before returning to your room.
I know this seems like overkill but if you ever get bedbugs you will gladly apply these helpful tips the next time you travel, trust me..
In my next article I will explain how to handle finding bed bugs after you have stayed at a hotel. Even if you find them you do not have to bring them home.
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