Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs – What to do if you find bed bugs in your home or hotel
With summer in full swing, that means many of us are traveling. That also means many of us are staying in hotels and sleeping in beds that are not ours. With that, comes fear for many travelers: bed bugs.
Bed bugs were first referenced in the 11th century, and have been a staple pest ever since the 1500s. Many believe that bed bugs only affect those with poor hygiene, but in actuality, even the cleanest hotels and homes can have bed bug infestations. Bed bugs, from the Cimex genus, are attracted to high-density areas and like to hide in dark, compact locations. This means they are often transported by travelers in their luggage, or found in hotel mattress seams, or even cracks in the walls.
Although bed bugs are an unfortunate fact of travel, there are ways to avoid them, and there are also ways to get rid of them – safely and effectively.
Spotting Bed Bugs While on Vacation
There are a few tips and tricks to follow when traveling so you can spot bed bugs, and avoid bringing the dreaded pests home as a souvenir.
Know what you are looking for. Bed bugs range between 1 and 7 mm and will appear as light brown, to reddish, with black spots. Their movements appear ant-like and some have reported that they emit a smell similar to coriander. Others have reported that they smell similar to spoiled raspberries, or marzipan (almonds). So even if you don’t see the bed bugs, you may be able to smell them.
Bites are generally found on areas of skin that are exposed during sleep. The face, neck, hands, and feet are all very vulnerable to bed bug bites. However, arms, legs, and backs are also commonly affected areas. Everyone will react differently to bed bug bites. Some bites will go completely unnoticed, while others will become red, raised, and itchy. In very extreme cases, the person bitten may develop blisters.
Bed bugs are most commonly found hiding along the cracks and piping in the mattress edges and corners. We recommend starting at the beds when looking for these pests in your hotel whether you are the proprietor or a guest. Remove the bedding and sheets, and carefully look along with the piping and seams of the mattress. You may also need to lift the mattress and inspect between the mattress and box spring, as this is a great hideaway for tiny bugs. A flashlight may be a helpful tool in locating bed bugs.
Many hotels have headboards that are attached to the wall. The seam between the wall and the headboard is a perfect spot for bed bugs and is often overlooked. Be sure to thoroughly check here as well. Also check the drawers in nightstands, as bed bugs can go up to 70 days without feeding! This means they will not always be found on or near the bed.
Check other soft furniture and furniture pieces that fellow travelers’ luggage comes in contact with. This means sofas, chairs, cushions, pullout couches, curtains, and luggage racks. Luggage racks can often be forgotten in your bed bug search, but they are often one of the biggest culprits because bed bugs come in on people’s luggage. Be sure to check all the nooks and crevices, and use a flashlight if you can’t see.
Bed bugs in one hotel room do not mean bed bugs in the entire hotel but are still a cause for concern if found.
You’ve Found a Stow-Away
You did all the right things on vacation to make sure you wouldn’t bring bed bugs home with you, and you still found a stow-away? Or maybe you own the hotel, Airbnb, or are the property manager and have found bed bugs in your establishment. Now what?
Heat treatment is a great option for exterminating those pesky intruders! Heat treatment is a great chemical-free alternative and is extremely effective for both localized treatments or treating large shared structures like a chain hotel. Heat treatment is very environmentally friendly and is compliant with all OSHA and environmental laws.
Bed bugs hate extreme temperatures and will die at temperatures at or above 45°C (113°F), if exposed for 90 or more minutes. If you have an infestation, the best chance of remediation is through a professional company offering heat treatment for bed bugs and mites. The professionals have large heaters with fans to distribute the heat evenly throughout the space, ensuring proper temperatures have been met to kill every bed bug in the room.
After the treatment, it is important to give your space one last thorough cleaning to remove any bed bug exoskeletons (dead bed bugs) that may be left. Use a vacuum crevice tool to vacuum in along the piping of your mattress and along baseboards and walls, clean out lint traps, and be sure to clean out the vacuum too when you are finished.
Relying on the professionals at Alliance-Environmental means a fast, effective, OSHA compliant and chemical-free way to remove bed bugs and mites from residences or commercial establishments. Contact us today. We are ready and backed by years of experience to help you get rid of those pesky pests.