Summer vacation is here, and for many lucky families that means summer vacations! Bringing unwanted bugs home is one of the main ways people get bed bug or cockroach infestations in their homes, so here are some tips to help keep unwelcome bugs from hitching a ride home with you from your summer vacation destination.
Preparation is the mother of success, so prepare for what bugs or pests you might run into before you leave for your vacation. Different parts of the world are prone to different types of pests, so know which ones you’re most likely to encounter.
Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver are the top three Canadian cities where bed bugs are most prominent, while New York, Philadelphia and Detroit rank as the top three US cities. The Bed Bug Registry is a great resource to see how prominent bed bugs across North American cities.
International destinations are just as prone to pests like bed bugs and cockroaches. In general, developing countries that have popular tourist spots are more likely to have pests, but in recent years there has been a surge in developed countries across North America and Europe, too.
Take a few minutes to check out your accommodations as soon as you arrive.
Peel back the sheets on the bed and look in the seams and crevices of the mattress for any evidence of bed bugs. We’ve included a picture of a bed bug below, but they’re shy little buggers so just because you don’t see them crawling around the mattress doesn’t mean they’re not hidden out of sight. Telltale signs of bed bugs are brownish red stains caused by their feces, exoskeletons shed by bed bugs as they grow, or tiny white eggs that are smaller than a grain of rice.
Common Bed Bug
Even if you are confident that there are no bed bugs, keep an eye on your body during your stay and look for any unusual red spots that could indicate that you’ve been bitten by a bed bug.
Cockroaches typically hang out where there is a food source, so in or near restaurants and nearby hotels. Unlike bed bugs, cockroaches don’t leave as many clues of their presence, so keep a keen eye open and make sure you know what species of cockroaches you might encounter. Below is a picture of a cockroach that you might find in North America, but different species of cockroaches can be found in different parts of the world.
Bug traps could be a sign that bed bugs or cockroaches are an issue, but they can also indicate that the establishment you’re staying in has a preventative pest control system already in place to protect you. Clean traps might be a sign that your room is clean of bugs, but still take precautions.
Even if you didn’t see a single sign of any bugs on your vacation, it’s still a good idea to be cautious when you get home.
If possible, keep your luggage outside of your home (possibly in your garage) until you’ve had time to thoroughly inspect it.
As soon as you bring your clothes into your home, put them straight into the laundry and wash them on a hot wash, and then dry them for at least 30 minutes at a hot temperature. This will kill any living bugs and unhatched eggs.
Also remember that these pests can hide in your toiletries bags, in gifts you’ve brought back and even in books or electronics you took on your trip. Take a diligent approach to unpacking is the best way to make sure you don’t have to deal with any bed bug or cockroach infestations.
If you’re heading out on a summer vacation this year, don’t let bed bugs, cockroaches or other unwanted pests spoil your trip. Research what types of pests you might run into before you leave, check your accommodations when you get there, and take precautions when you’re unpacking when you get back to help avoid any nasty infestations.
If you do find that you did bring some bed bugs or cockroaches home from a trip away, Pest Protection Plus offers professional bed bug removal and cockroach removal services. Our treatments are fast and affordable, and deliver great results!
And always remember …