Travelers must also take steps to prevent bed bugs from hitching rides home with them in luggage and clothing. The 2011 Bugs Without Borders survey found a significant increase in the prevalence of bed bugs in public places, including hotels/motels and college dorms.
To remain pest-free both during and after Spring Break, NPMA offers the following tips:
- Use insect repellant containing EPA-registered active ingredients like DEET or Picaridin.
- Limit time outdoors or wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- If bitten by a mosquito, clean the area thoroughly, avoid scratching, and apply anti-itch cream.
- To inspect a hotel room for bed bugs, pull back bed sheets, inspect mattress seams, box springs, headboards, sofas and chairs for telltale brownish or reddish spots, shed skins or bugs.
- Avoid putting luggage on beds or upholstered furniture and store it in a plastic bag.
- Once home, inspect and vacuum suitcases before bringing them inside. Wash and dry all clothes on hot.
- Consumers suspecting an infestation should contact a licensed pest professional.