Dealing With Bedbugs Before They Deal You A Visit

By on November 15, 2012

Yikes! Bedbugs, how awful…so unclean! If you want to enjoy your travels and bring back swell memories…not bedbugs…the best advice comes in the form of becoming educated on the subject. If you are at all like me, I always thought bedbugs were the second part of a nighttime rhyme… “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Alas, such is the case no more.

Getting Started
Even before boarding your mode of transportation, consider either securely wrapping luggage in plastic or purchasing the hard shell type of bags. Interestingly, bedbugs can also migrate from bag to bag in cargo areas…both paid and overhead places. Another precautionary idea is to store clothing in plastic bags before packing them in the suitcase.

Home Sweet Home
Although we usually associate bedbug presences with uncleanness, strangely enough, these most unwelcome bed fellows have made appearances in immaculate super five star hotels as well as back alley shacks. Whatever you think, bedbugs actually come with guests to hotels, not as a result of sanitation issues. They find their homes in indiscriminate soft, dark, and comfy places. These delightful locations include couches, overstuffed chairs, crevices of luggage or purses, and clothing, as well as beds. Even the folds in bed skirts and curtains are prime hideouts for bugs. Therefore, when unloading your luggage, be careful to put it on hard surfaces. In fact most travelers find storing all belongings in the bathroom and on any overhead racks to be the right choice. In addition, before leaving your room, take a few minutes to carefully inspect for places that might make perfect “residences.”

Someone in My Bed
Learning what to watch for as you search for any telltale signs of the vermin is important. According to my research, young ones are almost clear, about 1mm, and wingless; mature bugs are closer to 7mm, wingless, and have reddish brown backs. Both will molt a bit, leaving thin shells; they will also leave tiny brown or black droppings and small reddish brown stains as traces of their former presence. The reddish color is from digested blood.

The Injury
In an effort to minimize stress and dispel opinions based on false facts associated with bedbug bites, please note the following findings. A bedbug attacks humans for their blood; the bite is painless. Afterwards a small rash usually develops at the bite location, which might cause a little itch. The rash tends to go away fairly quickly with little physical pain and no treatment; unless you happen to be one of the few people who suffer from an allergic reaction, there should be no complications. Of course if there are concerns or questions, do consult a physician. Fortunately bedbugs do not live on people, and they also do not carry diseases.

Unwelcome Guests
The most destructive part of bedbugs rests in how difficult they are to destroy. This is why it is necessary to do all you can to avoid bringing any of their friends home with you. If this does happen, usually people must not only fumigate their homes, but get rid of furniture, as well as curtains, rugs, and decorative pillows, in addition to the bedding. All this makes me wonder if taking more “staycations” is the better choice for vacations; and after so many years of not having infestations, what happened.

Bedbugs are not just a cute ending to a rhyme any longer. Though the real cause of  recent outbreaks is still unknown, one idea suggests that because DDT is not safe, other pesticide combinations are not as effective; another claims that more frequent and available travel between countries is the offender. But whatever the cause, the fact remains that if you are serious about not wanting bedbugs, there really is no such thing as too much precaution.  And a degree of education is the best prevention when dealing with the pests.

Caroline Jones is a travel agent and avid writer.  She enjoys journaling about her travels and recently wrote about her stay at some beautiful luxury Bahamas resorts.

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