Summer travel is kicking into high gear this month, and while your mind may be more focused on which swimsuit you’re going to pack or which Airbnb you’re going to stay in, there is one tiny thing to keep in mind…bed bugs.
The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) is observing June 5 - 11th as Bed Bug Awareness Week. Since 2022 is the first year of real travel in a while, experts warn that bed bug infestations could skyrocket and are warning travelers around the country to be on the lookout for these particularly persistent pests. The week is dedicated to educating the public about signs of infestations and the importance of working with a licensed pest management professional (PMP) to treat one.
What’s the Deal with Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small oval-shaped insects about 3/16th of an inch long. They range from brown and flat to red and swollen depending on where they are in their feeding cycle. Bed bugs feed on blood exclusively, and although humans aren’t the only target, they seem to be a bed bugs’ favorite meal.
After feeding, bed bugs typically retreat for a few days, using that time to digest, mate and lay eggs. At a rate of laying up to five eggs per day and over 500 eggs in their lifetime, bed bugs pose a serious infestation problem if they go undetected. Oh, and did we mention they can withstand extreme conditions from nearly freezing temperatures up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit? So not only are there a lot of them, but they are extremely difficult to eradicate.
Detecting An Infestation
The bugs themselves are often hard to identify due to their nocturnal nature, so you will likely notice small fecal or blood spots on mattresses and furniture, bed bug molt skin, or bites before you see a bug itself. Although not known to carry diseases, bed bug bites can become red, inflamed and itchy if you have a reaction.
These pests are typically found in residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores and even public transportation. Many commercial properties use regular preventative treatments to keep bed bugs at bay, but you should also be on the lookout for signs and protect yourself when entering a new environment.
If you’re traveling this summer, for example, here are some tips to combat bed bugs:
- Immediately check the bed sheets and behind headboards for the signs of the bed bugs. A small flashlight comes in handy here.
- If you detect bed bugs, immediately alert hotel staff and remove yourself and all belongings from the room. Do not stay in an adjacent room.
- Bring a large trash bag to keep your suitcase in during the stay to prevent infestation.
- After returning home, vacuum out all suitcases and bags, and wash all clothes on the hot cycle.
If you detect bed bugs in your home or residence, it’s time to call a professional pest control company. These bugs reproduce very quickly and are extremely difficult to get rid of, so trying to do it yourself often makes matters worse.
Professional Bed Bug Services
Pestmaster offers comprehensive bed bug treatments to eradicate the problem quickly and effectively. Our bed bug control process starts with a thorough multi-room inspection by our qualified experts to identify the full scope of the problem. Treatment options will vary but using our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques, our goal is to eliminate your current infestation and prevent future ones while being mindful of the long-term results. We also conduct follow-up visits to apply additional treatments and make sure the problem is fully solved.
We offer a variety of treatment options depending on the space and your needs. These include: heat treatments ULV fogging, residual sprays and dust treatments. We also offer a limited time warranty on bed bug treatments to ensure you’re satisfied.
If you’re experiencing a bed bug infestation or want more information about preventative treatments, contact us today!