Traveling is a part of many people’s holiday plans and that often means staying in hotels. Whether you stay in a five-star hotel or a no star motel you could be visited at night by bed bugs.
A Little Info About Bed Bugs
The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is one of many blood-sucking insects of the genus Cimex. C. lectularius prefers to feed on humans, while other species specialize in other mammals such as bats and poultry. Bed bugs are common in all temperate climates all over the world.
It is believed that C. lectularious might have come from the Middle East where caves were inhabited by humans and bats. They were first mentioned by Aristotle around 400 BC. In the early 1930s, there was an increase of the bed bug population. Some believe that this was brought about by the availability of electric heat, which made it possible for the bed bug to be active throughout the year, rather than just during warm weather periods.
There was a significant decline of bed bugs during the middle and end of the century, which some attribute to vacuum cleaners and the use of DDT bug treatments and other pesticides that were used mainly for the eradication of other pests, such as cockroaches. There was also a concerted effort to increase public awareness and the importance of home inspections.
Since the late 1990s, there has been an increase in reports of bed bugs. This has been credited to several causes, such as a decline in pesticide use, pesticide resistance and the ability of people to travel to previously inaccessible areas where professional pest control is not available.
The word bug was first used in reference to the bed bug: a derivative of Middle English ‘bugge.’
The adult bed bug is light brown to a reddish brown and has a banded appearance. They are very small, only
about ¼-inch long, flat and oval shaped. Immature nymphs are nearly translucent and darken as they mature. Any age bed bug’s abdomen will have a bright red appearance after feeding.
Bed Bug Bites
The first sign of a bed bug infestation is bed bug bites. Some people may show no signs at all, while others may have an allergic reaction, leading to large itchy welts. While it is known that bed bugs can carry up to 28 human pathogens, there has been no evidence that they can transfer them to humans. If you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by one, this is the only good news, unlike that if bitten by a mosquito.
Avoiding Bed Bugs on Your Travels
Bed bugs give off a characteristic smell of rotten raspberries, so that may be a first clue. When you arrive in your hotel room, check it for bed bugs. To be especially careful, place your luggage somewhere other than on the floor until you have completed your inspection.
Look for concentrations and signs of the need for bed bug treatment, such as fecal spots (dark sand-like particles), blood smears on the sheets and molted exoskeletons.
The most obvious place to start is the bed. Check the edges and seams of the bed and even spots where the mattress is tufted. Bed bugs lodge in dark crevices in the fabric seams. Check the box spring as well. Bed bugs will congregate in the crevices of furniture (such as underneath drawers), in carpets, under loose wallpaper, even in computers and electrical sockets. They like to remain close to their food source.
If you find signs that your room has bed bugs, check out of the room and demand a refund of your money. You can always threaten to post a warning on the Internet that will scare off other patrons. Most hotels should be glad of the information so they can contact pest control services.
A good way to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home after traveling is to pack your clothes in airtight plastic bags while packing and return them to the bag once they have been worn.
Keep shoes and any clothing off the hotel floor.
Upon returning home, use a brush or a vacuum cleaner outside to clean the luggage, inside and out, to rid it of any hitchhikers before bringing it into your home.
You can never be too careful when it comes to bugs: especially the ones that bite. Residential pest control is the best way to avoid problems. If you are in and around the Daytona Beach area, please contact us at Universal Pest Control to obtain one of our home inspections. We provide the best in pest control services and know exactly what to do if you happen to need bed bug treatment.
Published by Axiom Internet Marketing
UNIVERSAL PEST CONTROL offering Florida pest control services is locally owned and has been operated by the Stebleton family since 1994.