Bed Bug Prevention: A Guide for Knoxville Travelers 03/03/2017 One of the most horrible things that can occur when you come back from a trip or a nice family vacation is finding out that someone carried bed bugs to your home. These disgusting bugs have no boundaries and enjoy making the aftermath of your vacation as stressful as they can. This is a place you really don’t want to find yourself in because if bedbugs get in your home, they’re hard to eliminate. A solution to this is to not get bedbugs to begin with. You may question if it’s truly possible to control whether or not you get bedbugs- it is! Through this guide explaining how to best handle bedbugs, we teach you what precautions to take when staying somewhere, like a hotel or motel, and the best way to handle bags and other items while away and when coming home. Identifying Bed Bugs If you want to avoid getting bedbugs it is important to be able to identify them. If you are able to notice them in the room you’re staying in or on the luggage prior to your return back home, you can exterminate the insects before you ever step foot back in your home. When trying to diagnose a bedbug infestation, you must inspect your hotel room. Search for bed bug feces- little darkly colored flakes that kind of resemble like pepper. You might also seek out the bugs themselves, which look like little, thin, flat, red-brown ellipses, kind of resembling an apple seed with legs. Getting Ready There are some preventive measures you can take to ensure the greatest protection against bed bugs when you’re going on a expedition. The first thing to do, when it comes to the bags, the best thing to do is to get a hard-shell suitcase. These are difficult for insects to permeate. If a hard-shell suitcase is not an option, you should carry a collapsible suitcase, because these are much easier to wash before getting home. Then, if any bed bugs have gotten into your luggage, you can get them out, with any eggs or feces that could have been left behind. Another way to prevent these insects from sneaking in your belongings is to carry a plastic bag to put your suitcase inside of during your trip. This might be a pretty precautionary step to take, but you can never be too careful. Finally, you need to read the reviews of the place that you are thinking of staying at. Be sure to keep away from anywhere that has, regardless of how recent. Inspecting The Room When you reach your room, you should inspect carefully the room for habitation of bed bugs. Place your luggage in the restroom as you search, because the bathroom is almost always free from insects since it is full of smooth surfaces that are not able to produce a conducive environment for the them to live. Remember that you need to bring a flashlight to use when you are inspecting the room. Carefully check the entirety of the space that you are staying. Some specific areas you will want to be extra sure to inspect would be: Head boardsBed framesNight standsDressersBook shelvesMattressesMattress creases CurtainsSheets and pillowsItems that have small crevices or openings (alarm clocks)If the room has been cleared for bed bugs, you can take your stuff out. Nevertheless, be cautious and don’t place your things on the floor in the room. Be as careful as you can be so you can inhibit any bugs from getting in your things. If you find bed bugs in the place that you are staying, don’t hesitate to alert someone immediately and look for a better place to stay. Inspecting the Car The room where you are staying won’t be the only place that you are at risk of getting bed bugs. Rental cars have also been occasionally found infested with these little critters. Always look inside of the trunk, backseat, front seat, center counsel, and don’t forget inside of the tire areas so you are positive that there are no bed bugs hiding somewhere within. No person wants to get to their hotel and realize they [already have bed bugs, and they have now brought them them into the hotel. To prevent this it is incredibly important to check your rental car before putting your things inside of it. Coming Home After you finally get back home you should act as if you have realized bed bugs had gotten into your luggage, just in case. This is a great precautionary step to take, because if you ever actually bring bed bugs back with you without noticing, you will get rid of them and they won’t ever turn into an issue. Before even entering your house you must inspect your things. Look inside of your bag with a flashlight. Then, when you begin to take out your stuff, it’s very important to wash all of your clothing in your washing machine with the temperature set to high, plus the stuff you didn’t wear. A cycle through a washing machine with high heat is sure to eliminate any bed bugs that might have sneaked into your clothing on your trip. If you make sure to follow this guide, you will remove all chances of coming back home from a trip and finding bed bugs! For more information, or help with pest control and pest elimination, call Bulwark Exterminating at (865) 409-0472 and you will speak with a professional who would be more than happy to answer all of the questions that you have.