Bed Bugs and Travel
You’ve just gotten back from a trip. You spent and overnight in an expensive hotel. Two days later you notice a uneven line of bites on your ankle. You go online and decide the hotel room must have had bed bugs.
Too late, you’ve brought your suitcase up to your bedroom and unpacked all the unworn clothing. FIRST NOT! When you travel throw all your clothing (worn and unworn) into the washer and drier immediately upon return. After visiting an infested home I remove my clothing in my attached garage and throw it into the dryer for 30 mins unless I plan to immediately do a wash and in that case I wash on hot then dry immediately. (did you notice the word immediately?)
Okay, so your unworn clothing is back in your dresser, unwashed and undried. Too late now. You may or may not have brought bed bugs back with you. You will have to wait to see but don’t wait too long as you don’t want a large infestation. Bed bugs feed every 5-10 days. Bed bug bites sometimes are delayed at coming out so if you notice the bites a few days after travel, they may have happened in the hotel room.
What you should start doing is checking your bed. If you notice bloody dots on your sheets it’s not a good sign (smashed bed bugs possibly unless you know what else they are from). If you find a bug do NOT kill it and flush it down the toilet. Get a piece of clear tape and tape it down, then put it (in the clear tape) in a sealable plastic bag and take a picture on the macro setting of your phone. You can email that picture to an extermination company or to us. Could you have found the only bed bug you brought home? Maybe but not likely. They reproduce very quickly. Keep watching.
Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Detection Dogs
If you find positive proof of bed bugs and you live in a single family home, you don’t need a dog, get an exterminator in. If you live in an apartment building and you find a bed bug in your apartment, tell management and they should get a dog in to determine if any of the adjoining apartments have bed bugs and exactly how many units need to be treated. They quickly move from unit to unit. If you are uncertain about whether you have bed bugs, do NOT use household sprays. Once you have sprayed chemicals a dog cannot come in for 30 days. If you’re getting bitten but haven’t seen the bed bugs, get a dog in to determine if you have bed bugs or are getting bitten from something else.
Do NOT spend the money for extermination until you have positive proof that it’s bed bugs. I just went out to a search in Concord, MA. The homeowner had bites and one service was going to come in to exterminate at a high cost. The owner called another service who recommended she confirm first and referred her to me (my bed bug detection dog search is much much cheaper than the extermination). That is the more reputable extermination company because there was no beg bug scent in her home. Her bites may have been solely from her stay at the hotel and no bed bugs hitched a ride to her home. Or they could have been bites from something else.
We are not in the business to service people who don’t need us. If you call us we will consult with you at no cost to see what we can resolve over the phone to determine your problem. Many people do not want to wait to see if they brought in bed bugs and want to go ahead and have a bed bug detection dog search for piece of mind. I can understand that.
Once you think you have a problem with bed bugs educate yourself online and call a professional to find out what your best alternatives are before you have a large bed bug infestation. We offer free consultation so don’t hesitate to call us!