SEE THE TRAVEL TIPS BELOW!
So you’re getting bit. You don’t know what it is. You don’t know when you get bit. But something is biting. It must be bed bugs.
Fleas bite. Wasps sting. Ants sting. Mites bite. Bed bugs bite. Which is it?
Fleas jump, and they don’t hide. Wasps fly, and they don’t hide. Ants crawl, and they don’t hide. Mites crawl, and they don’t hide, but you probably won’t see them anyway. Bed bugs crawl, and they hide on or near your bed (or couch). They also leave “processed” blood behind as they move, and leave unsightly blood stains on your sheets and pillow cases. Their bites seem to be in a line (roughly), and you never seem to feel them doing the biting. That is because they hit you with an anesthetic before they bite.
Prevention is difficult, and involves paying close attention when you travel, looking for the tell-tale blood spots on mattresses, box springs, and couches in your room. Keep your luggage as far from the bed as possible, so they don’t hitch a ride on it.
Look close. Can you see the bed bugs?
Try this close-up.
That suit case went on the luggage cart right beside yours. Or through security yesterday. Or on the airline luggage carousel after a previous flight.
Specific steps to take when travelling are:
1. Treat your luggage and travel clothes with a pest repellant made specifically for clothing and gear. It should say “clothing” or “gear” right on the front of the label. You can find this in the hunting or camping sections of the big department stores or in sporting goods stores. Treat the outside of your luggage, and the outside of your travel clothes. You may wash the travel clothes several times after treatment without affecting the ability of the repellant to keep you bed bug free. One treatment lasts about six weeks.
2. Pack your luggage as usual, and carry large kitchen trash can liners in an outside pocket of the luggage. Bed bugs cannot climb those liners, and they can be used to sequester things in your hotel room. Use the luggage rack, but put the liner on the rack first.
3. Inspect the room. Hotels have gotten good at removing bedding which has bed bug stains, but those stains will remain on bed frames and furniture close to the bed.
4. When using common carriers (planes, busses, taxis) or going to theaters either wear treated travel clothes or place those clothes in a trash can liner as soon as you get to your room. They should be washed before packing or wearing them again.
5. Enjoy your trip.