Easter is finally here which means it's time to relax and enjoy the long weekend; and if you have a sweet tooth, don't forget all the chocolate! Us South Africans love adventuring around our beautiful country at this time of year by taking a mini holiday, but did you know this puts you at risk of bed bugs?
How do you get bed bugs?
Since the early 2000's there has been a drastic escalation in the number of bed bug infestations around the world.
There are 2 factors that have led to the increase in bed bug infestations:
- Global travel
- Second hand furniture sales
Hotels and other overnight accommodation facilities play an important role in the spread of bed bugs.
The rise in international travel has resulted in these establishments receiving a high amount of human visitors. This allows bed bugs to spread easily, inconspicuously traveling from one occupant to another.
Hotels are just as much at risk of accumulating a bed bug problem as they are of spreading bed bugs. The constant stream of visitors means bed bugs can effortlessly find their way in and just as easily find their way out.
Second hand furniture
In recent years there a growth in the sale of second hand furniture has taken place which can also put your home at risk of bed bugs.
Furniture, such as beds and couches, offer bed bugs an established and safe place to hide and are crucially close to a food source. Acquiring a piece of furniture which has a bed bug problem can sacristy enough result in you unknowingly transporting bed bugs into your own home!
How to avoid bed bugs when travelling
So you've learnt about the role hotels and travel play in the spread of bed bugs, but how can you prevent bed bugs from hitchhiking home with you?
Well, you'll be relieved to hear there are a few bed bug spotting techniques which you can adopt to ensure they don't ruin your Easter break.
Ensure you inspect your hotel room for bed bugs
When staying in a hotel, guest house, or any other overnight establishment whilst on holiday, inspecting the room for bed bugs can help ensure you donâ€™t find yourself giving these biting insects a free ride back to your home.
FollowÂ of the simpleÂ steps belowÂ to detect the presence of bed bugs in your hotel room:
Use luggage stands with caution
Luggage stands in hotel rooms are a hot spot for bed bug activity. Bed bugs often use luggage to travel and infest a new home, because of this luggage stands are often the first point of contact for bed bugs.
When staying in a hotel it's a good idea to store your luggage in the en-suite bathroom whilst carrying out your inspection of the room, and during your entire stay. This can considerably lower the risk of bed bugs hitching a free ride to your home.
What to do after you've come home from holiday
So you've just come back home from your break, and you've taken the necessary bed bug prevention steps during your stay to avoid bed bugs, now what?
Well, there are a few things you can do to lessen the risk of a bed bug problem even further. These consist of making sure your luggage and your clothing are bed bug free.
After returning from your travels it is a good idea to store your luggage outside, in a shed or in your garage.
As you know, bed bugs love to hitch a ride in your luggage, and can often do so with you knowing it! Keeping your luggage in these areas will help limit the spread to your home.
If you are worried about bed bugs, don't even bring your suitcase into the house, unpack outside and place it straight into the garage or shed.
Bed bugs can often be found hiding amongst the clothes in your luggage. To avoid accumulating bed bugs in your home, you should wash your clothing on a high heat.
When you get home it is advisable to simply empty the contents of your bags and suitcases into black bin bags and then transfer the contents to your washing machine.
To ensure you kills both bugs and eggs, you should wash your clothing on a temperature of at least 60 degrees, and if possible place the items into a tumble dryer for at least half an hour.
Bed bugs aren't great survivors in high temperatures. Washing clothing will help get rid of bed bugs (both adult bed bugs and bed bug eggs), lessening the risk of bed bugs in the house.
If you have found yourself with a bed bug problem, the best way to get rid of bed bugs from your home or workplace is with the help of a pest control professional.
Get in contact with Rentokil for expert advice and solutions on how to get rid of bed bugs.
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