As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, so do encounters with bed bugs. Whether staying at a five-star hotel or roughing it in the wilderness, these pests don’t discriminate.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) stated that 97% of pest professionals treated for bed bugs in 2018. One in five Americans has encountered bed bugs in their home or knows someone who has. Pest control companies have been reporting infestations everywhere including homes/apartments, hotels, schools, and movie theaters.
Bed bug infestations can happen to anyone! This pest is an excellent hitchhiker. It loves to hide in the smallest nooks and crannies. They can latch onto your clothes or even crawl into your bags. Bed bugs can live up to three months without food and more than 10,000 bed bugs can live in a single colony. While these pests do not transmit diseases, bed bugs inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin as they bite, leaving their victims undisturbed.
Telltale signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Small red to reddish brown fecal spots on mattresses, upholstery or walls
- Molted bed bug skins, white, sticky eggs or empty eggshells
- Very heavily infested areas may have a characteristically sweet odor
- Red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms and other body parts which may be exposed while sleeping
There are several steps you can take to help prevent bed bugs in your everyday life. Regular inspections are the best line of defense to help you avoid an infestation. Here are some other prevention tips to keep in mind: never bring second-hand furniture, run items suspected of infestation through a high heat dry cycle, and thoroughly inspect your hotel room before unpacking.
If you suspect an infestation, download our free DIY guide to learn more about bed bug prevention and treatments or schedule a free pest evaluation.