Manic: Summer travel is fun, but it can be manic for the Mom (or Dad) doing the planning. So much to do, packing, budgeting, planning plus the worries about sunburn, bug bites and don’t forget the dreaded and very unwelcome bed bugs that can come home with you. Ugh!
Managed: Decided to welcome Jim LaBrie’s, owner of Bug & Weed Mart, kind offer to write a guest post for managedmoms about how to protect our family from these dreaded and unwelcome potential pests….the evil bedbug. Here is what Jim has to say about the issue…
Going on vacation? Make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid bringing bed bugs back with you! Living in Arizona during the summer is often too hot to handle. As a result, many people choose to spend the summer traveling to cooler destinations where they can beat the heat. While traveling, bed bugs may be something you never think twice about, but it is crucial to be aware of what or who may be stowing away in your suitcase when you return home. Travel is considered one of the major causes for the spread of bed bugs.
Facts about Bed Bugs:
*They can be found in every state in the U.S. except Alaska
*One pregnant bug can lay 500 eggs
*Bed bugs are the fastest growing pest problem and the hardest to get rid of
*A bed bug will travel 100 feet to get a blood meal
*They can live up to a year without a meal
What’s the deal with Bed Bugs?
The most common bed bugs only feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts. Bed bugs can conceal themselves in tight cracks and crevices, which is why bed bugs are often found in bed parts such as mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs also thrive in temporary habits such as backpacks and under the seats in cars, buses and trains. Although bed bugs do not transmit diseases, their bites can become red, itchy welts.
But don’t cancel your next family trip, just know there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from bringing home any unwanted guests.
How can you prevent bringing bed bugs into your home?
- Before packing your bags, pre-treat luggage and purses
- Pre-treat your car if you are taking a road trip
- When you check into your hotel room, place suitcases in the bathtub
- Never put your suitcase on the luggage rack (bed bugs like to hide in vinyl webbing)
- Pull back bedspread and check sheets for dark spots
- Pack bed bug detection strips to place under leg of bed and between headboard and mattress
- Pack an LED flashlight
What should you do if you discover bed bugs:
- If you are staying at a hotel room immediately report it to the manager and find a new hotel
- If you are staying with a relative and find bed bugs, check into a hotel
- Don’t panic. There is no need to throw everything away
- Spend the money and use the best mattress protectors on all beds (you do not need to throw away your mattresses)
- If you think you or someone in the family was exposed to bed bugs, remove clothes, put shoes in the garage, bag everything up and immediately wash and dry, and treat suitcases
- Do not move to another room in your home, this will spread the bed bugs
- Beware of professionals that claim they can eliminate bed bugs for less than $400 per room
- Know that you can safely treat rooms, furniture and mattresses yourself, with the proper materials, but plan to spend approximately 2 hours on each infected room
Bed bugs are not dangerous and to our knowledge they do not carry diseases, but they are one of the most difficult and costly pests to eliminate. Practicing prevention when you travel is the first step to take in order to avoid the problem altogether; but if you do find yourself one morning with bites on your arms or chest, take action immediately.
About our guest writer:
Jim LaBrie is a father, a grandfather and the owner of Bug & Weed Mart, a do-it-yourself retail store that specializes in bug and weed prevention, with five location. To learn more about pest prevention and protection you can visit www.bugweedmart.com or on the Bug & Weed Mart Facebook page.