Are you traveling this holiday season? We decided to stay home this year but will be flying in the spring and summer and hope we can remember to do what it takes to prevent getting bitten by and bringing home an unwanted guest–bed bugs!

Close proximity of people and baggage make it easy for bed bugs to move from one place to another and start a new infestation. What can you do to help prevent coming home with bugs and bites?

  • Check your seat. A moment’s look at the seams and cushions of your airplane seat could reveal an extra passenger traveling with you.
  • Bring your own blanket and pillow, if you use them. An inflatable pillow doesn’t take up much space and a shawl or wide scarf is as good as any airline blanket we have ever gotten.
  • Inspect your hotel room before you bring luggage in. Here are our detailed tips for hotel room inspection. Be sure to check inside drawers and behind pictures on the walls as well as mattresses and other upholstery. No matter how expensive it is, any hotel can become infested.
  • Keep your luggage off the floor. Use that luggage rack at the foot of the bed.
  • Unpack outside. Keep anything that might have come home with you out of the house.
  • Launder when you get home. Even if you didn’t wear everything you took with you, wash all of the clothes you packed before putting them away. Better safe than bitten!
  • Bag up your suitcase. Put your suitcases into plastic bags for 2 weeks or until needed to make sure nothing that might be in there has a chance to escape or get to a food source–you.

We don’t want you to be anxious when traveling and you don’t have to be–if you are careful. If you do find a sign of bed bugs in your hotel room, ask for another room which is not adjacent on that floor or above or below the infested room. Bed bugs find you by the carbon dioxide you exhale and they could easily travel from an empty room next door or overhead.

We hope that all of your holiday travels are filled with joy and fun and–of course–bed bug free!

Happy New Year!