How to Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling

If you travel, you need to learn to detect signs of bedbug infestations in hotels so that you can know how to prevent bed bugs while traveling. Preventing bug infestations is the first line of defense for natural pest control.

learn how to prevent bed bugs while traveling

When you are traveling, you should always check out a motel room upon first arriving to ensure that no bed bugs exist. Even while doing this, there is always the chance that you will miss something along the way, and still encounter the bugs before you return home from your vacation.

Also, there is the chance of picking up the bugs in the airplane or its cargo spaces if you are flying, as someone else may have infested luggage. Bed bugs can also be picked up in a rental vehicle – this is another opportunity for them to hitch a ride with you.

So what do you do if you discover or suspect that you have picked up bed bugs while on your trip?

First, begin with your luggage:

  • You will want to begin to treat all involved areas immediately before even entering your home.
  • If your suitcase is involved, then leave it outside, remove your clothing, and place the clothes and other items into a disposable bag.
  • You can then try scrubbing out your luggage and/or vacuuming it very carefully. You need to watch not only for the presence of live bugs, but also for eggs which are white in color, and only the size of a pinhead.

    Just remember to throw away the vacuum bag by putting it inside a disposable, sealed bag immediately. Some people have used Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.), a non-toxic substance, inside their vacuum bags. This substance is safe for use around pets, but is lethal to insects. You can get it here on Amazon.

  • You can also try putting your luggage into a disposable plastic bag, and then placing it outside in the sun or inside a hot vehicle. You can also do this for other items in your luggage that will not be able to be laundered.

    However, you will want to keep the number of items in the bag to a minimum, as this will prevent the bugs from finding cooler hiding spots. It is very important that you ensure that the temperature in the bag gets to at least 120 F, and that the bag stays out all day.

  • If you live in a colder climate, you can also try freezing them out by ensuring your luggage gets below 32 F, but this takes longer. It is estimated that you will need to leave your luggage out for about two weeks. The effectiveness of freezing, however, is not clear. Therefore, heat remains the treatment of choice.
  • Alternatively, if you can afford it, the safest option of not bringing bed bugs into your home is to throw away your luggage. Be sure to put your luggage in a garbage bag to lessen the chance of someone picking up your luggage at the curb and then possibly introducing bugs into his/her home too.

What do you do about the contents inside your luggage?

  • You also will need to treat the items that are inside your suitcase. To do this, you need to put all items that can be laundered (clothes, shoes, backpacks, etc.) into disposable sealed bags.

    You then should carefully open the contents of the bags and wash them in hot water and dry them on high for twenty minutes in your washer and dryer, respectively.

  • Another option is to go to the laundromat and wash and dry your items there, so that you do not have to bring the infested clothing into your home at all. Out of respect for the facility owners and other patrons of the laundromat, be sure to place your clothing carefully into the washers so that you do not spread the bugs around.

If you follow the steps outlined above you can ensure that you minimize the chances of introducing bugs into your home after your trip.

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