How do you keep your vacation bed bug free? Ask the Pest Expert!

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Question: Our family will be taking a cruise this summer and will be staying in hotels during our vacation. How can we protect ourselves from bed bugs?
Connie in Ellicott City

Answer: There’s no doubt about it, bed bugs are a problem that is not going to go away anytime soon. But there’s good news: they can’t come into your home unless you carry them in. They don’t wander in from outside like an ant or a mouse; bed bug infestations can only occur if you bring them into your home. As long as you take proper precautions when traveling, you should be able to enjoy your vacation without bringing home any unwanted souvenirs. There are some simple steps that you can take to minimize your risk of bringing them home.

An Ounce of Prevention:

  • Pack light, taking only what you can wash in hot water. It’s also easier to move your things to a new hotel room or cabin if you do find a problem.
  • Choose the right luggage. Bed bugs have a definite preference for cloth luggage and can get through even a closed zipper. So choose metal or plastic luggage (hard-case) with tight closures.
  • Protect your belongings. Seal your clothes (and everything else) in airtight bags and keep them inside your luggage when you’re not using them.

During and After Your Trip:

  • Protect your luggage. Keep your suitcase on a luggage rack, never put it on your bed and resist the urge to use your cabin/hotel room dressers. If there is not a luggage rack in your room, you can request one or find a hard surface (the lighter the color the better) or keep it in your bathtub.
  • Check your room. One thing you definitely want to pack is a flashlight. Check the mattress, mattress seams, under the bed, behind the headboard, creases of drapes, couch cushions, behind picture frames and any visible cracks in the floor, walls or furniture.
  • Once Home, Unpack Safely. Keep your suitcases away from your bedroom and your living room. If possible, unpack directly into your washing machine and launder your clothes immediately. After unpacking, vacuum your luggage and put in a garbage bag in the back seat of your car on a hot day before your store it away.

Bill Brown currently serves as our resident pest expert and is happy to answer all your questions about protecting your home from rodents, bugs, termites and pests of all types.

Want to submit a question? Fill out the form on our contact page or email today! For more helpful tips from our pest expert, call (410) 317-8510