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Travel is widely recognized as the most common cause of bed bug infestations. Bed bugs will hitch on to travelers or their luggage and being accidentally transported to other properties.
Bed bugs are extremely proficient at going unnoticed by humans. Being small, wingless insects with flattened bodies, helps bed bugs them hide in tight, secluded spaces.
Their flat bodies also help to protect them from being smashed if one of their hosts rolls over onto them in the middle of the night.
Although bed bugs prefer to remain hidden, they will move out of their hiding spaces to feed when a host is nearby. But, even then, bed bugs are cautious about their actions. To avoid detection, the reddish-brown insects typically wait until the middle of the night before beginning their quest for a blood meal and moving towards a host.
Alongside food poisoning and lost luggage, worry about bed bugs is a top concern for travelers.
Lack of awareness and the “it will never happen to me” attitude have greatly contributed to the spread of bed bugs - or ‘travel bugs’ as they may be dubbed one day in the future.
In the last decade, bed bugs have made a major resurgence around the world and are a major source of stress for many property owners in Canada.
Increased global travel is often cited as one of the biggest contributing factor to increase in bed bug infestations globally in the two decades.
Increased travel from Canada to distant locations where bed bugs are more common, especially, have led to the increasing problem.
Likewise, rented furniture can also be to blame if they are rented and then inadequately inspected upon their return and rented again. Bed bugs can survive for many months without a blood meal so simply isolating an infested piece of furniture will not get rid of bed bugs.
Homeowners often unintentionally bring furniture into their homes by picking up discarded furniture on the curb and bringing it into their homes. Not all infested items that are thrown out are marked as being bed bug-infested.
Inspect Bed - When you arrive at your hotel, carefully inspect the bed you will be sleeping in by pulling back the sheets and closely examining the mattress seams for any signs of bed bugs.
Keep Luggage Away From Bed - Lessen the likelihood of bed bugs hitching on to your luggage by placing your luggage as far away from your hotel bed as possible. Store luggage in the bathroom or another location a safe distance from the bed.
Check Luggage Before Packing and Unpacking - Be sure to examine your luggage carefully as you pack up to return home. Check your clothes for bed bugs as well as any zipped compartments. Upon your return home, re-check your luggage before unpacking to avoid spreading bed bugs to your home.
Wash Clothes - It is important to wash all clothes stored in your luggage upon your return. Wash clothes in hot, soapy water and dry at high heat in case bed bugs have hitched on to your clothing.