Beware of bed bugs this travel season
Peak travel season is here, and that means peak bed bug season.
Experts say your chance of bringing home bed bugs from your next vacation or stay-cation is about to go up.
"You be careful you don't get them in a hotel, along the wall base they can hide behind picture frames," said Mark King, owner of A-1 Bed Bug Heat Remediation.
Maggie Snyder brought bugs home from a high-end hotel in New York City.
"I knew the bed bugs were in my bed," Snyder said. "I came home from my trip and noticed bites all over my legs and on my arms."
Russ Hoffman picked them up in a hotel in Seattle.
"Every time we go to a hotel or anywhere, we'll pull up the sheets on the corner, and we'll look," Hoffman said. "And so we saw the telltale stains of the bedbugs. And then we actually found a bed bug."
How do you avoid the beg bugs and the bites? That’s where the bed bug drill comes in handy. Here’s what experts recommend:
As soon as you get where you're staying, think twice about what you plan to do with your bag.
- Never put your bags on a bed, upholstered furniture or the carpeted floor.
- Instead, store your baggage in the bathroom. Experts say a shower or the bathtub are the least likely places a bed bug will be.
- Grab a flashlight and carefully inspect all the places you'll be sleeping and sitting.
It’s also important to know it’s not just the bed but behind on the headboard and around or on furniture are other places bed bugs love to hand out. So pay close attention to lamps, nightstands and even in the nightstand drawers.
When you get home, unpack your clothes in the bathroom or outside the house. Then wash them right away, and toss them in the dryer at high heat.
Experts say the dryer should run on high for at least 20 minutes to kill the bugs and the eggs.
"But you want to bring it in and take it directly to the dryer," King said. "Some people will do wash and dry but put it on high heat for over 20 to 30 minutes and that will kill the bed bugs and eggs."
Then put your luggage in a garbage bag and leave it in the sun for a few hours so the heat can kill any potential stowaways.