Summer Travelers: Bed Bugs

There was a time when the bedtime rhyme “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” was just a quaint saying. In the 80’s, bed bugs seemed a remnant from another era - a medieval pest that could not possibly return to plague our peaceful slumbers. In the 90’s, our Technical Director began to warn of a resurgence though we thought it would be contained to other areas, not a prolific pest. Now, our Call Center fields bed bug inquiries from every state, and every zip code. Bed bugs are back, and presumably here to stay.
While bed bugs can be picked up almost anywhere – restaurants, movie theaters, libraries – they are most often associated with hotels. In light of the association, it seems like a very good idea to at least poke around a new hotel room on your next trip. Pop your luggage into the bathtub (the safest place in the room) and take a quick look around. The natural place to begin is, unsurprisingly, the bed. Pull up the fitted sheet and search for rust-colored spots on the mattress, if not live insects. Other places to inspect include the curtains, any upholstered seating and even behind picture frames. Once you have searched, you will feel much more comfortable inhabiting your temporary abode.
On your return home, it pays to be prepared. Before you leave, sort your clothes by washing instructions and temperature setting in plastic bags that can seal, before packing them in your suitcase. Dry clean only clothes can be placed in a dryer, but not washed, so should be stored separately. When you arrive home, tip each bag into the washer, before folding the bag opening into the center and wrapping it up. Immediately put the empty bag into another bag, seal it and dispose of it properly. Wash and dry the clothes on the highest temperature setting – the dryer setting is the most important step. High heat for 30 minutes should be sufficient to eradicate any bed bugs. For dry clean clothes, place them in a medium to high setting in the dryer for at least 30 minutes. Once done, you can take them to a professional to dry cleaner for cleaning and pressing.
Bed bugs multiply and travel easily, so you may experience an infestation at some point or another. Rest assured, our professional teams know how to handle these difficult pests, offering heat and traditional treatment options. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, feel free to call us for a free inspection so that you can sleep tight.