Summer Travel Tips: Hotel Room Bed Bug Inspections

Western Exterminator of Las Vegas provides tips on how to avoid bed bugs while traveling this summer!Summer’s here and the vacation you’ve been planning for months is quickly approaching. Even though the last thing you want to worry about while traveling is pests, the truth is you should always be cautious of bed bugs. Even worse, infestations are known to start after bringing the tiny bugs home in your suitcase after a getaway. To avoid having these uninvited guests accompany you back to your Las Vegas residence after a trip, read on to learn Western Exterminator of Las Vegas’ best tips for making sure your travels are bed bug-free!

Inspecting Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

The best way to avoid encountering bed bugs on a vacation is by being proactive about checking for them! Before you even book your hotel, it’s important to research your options and pay attention to any customer reviews that mention bed bug problems. Even a hotel or bed-and-breakfast could have bed bugs, which is why it’s crucial to always inspect your room upon your arrival. Some of the things to check for include:

  • Pull back the bed sheets, and look between the mattress and box spring for any signs of eggs, feces, or skin that has been shed.
  • When you look at the surface of the mattress, you might find tiny specks of blood, where the bugs have bitten previous guests.
  • In addition to the mattress, make sure to check in any cracks on a bed frame or headboard, as well as on any other pieces of furniture in the room.
  • If you find what you believe to be evidence of bed bugs, it’s essential to let the hotel staff know and to request a room change!
  • Even in a room that is bed-bug free, it’s smart to keep your things out of the reach of bed bugs by using suitcase racks or keep your luggage on top of dressers or other furniture.

Preventing Bed Bug Infestations After Traveling

Just as important as checking your hotel room for bed bugs is making sure you didn’t bring them home with you at the end of a trip! There are several precautions to take to ensure you don’t unknowingly invite these pesky bugs into your residence:

  1. Before you bring your suitcase inside, it’s recommended to quickly check your suitcase or even shake it out.
  2. Wash and dry all of your clothing in hot water after your trip, even if it was never worn.
  3. Thoroughly vacuum or steam clean your suitcase before you store it. Pay careful attention to the lining and any pockets where the bugs could be hiding.

Professional Bed Bug Treatment

Unfortunately, there are some occasions when you still get bed bugs despite taking all the precautions to avoid them while traveling. The best thing you can do if you notice bed bugs in your suitcase or in your home is to immediately call a professional pest control company. Bed bug infestations can spread without you noticing, which is why it’s essential to enlist an expert who can thoroughly inspect and treat your home. If your Las Vegas home has been exposed to bed bugs, call the professionals at Western Exterminator of Las Vegas today!

Bed Bug Travel Tips

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, the last thing you need to worry about is bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs are commonly spread through travel-based circumstances. It’s always important to inspect not only your hotel room, but also your luggage when you return home to avoid an infestation in your home. Even though it’s somewhat of a myth that bed bugs infest every single hotel, it’s still important to stay vigilant. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and can go unnoticed for some time as the infestation becomes worse.

Tips to Avoid Bed Bugs in Hotels

When you check in to your hotel, it’s best to never assume your room is free of bed bugs. There are several helpful bed bug avoidance tips to take into consideration next time you go out of town:

  • Check out your room. When you get into your hotel room, pull back the sheets and inspect the corners of the mattress seams for signs of bugs. If you notice anything, it’s important to inform the staff right away.
  • Don’t unpack right away. Check out other areas in the room, such as the headboard or an accent chair, for bed bugs. Just because they aren’t on the mattress doesn’t mean they’re not elsewhere.
  • Move to a further room. If you have noticed bed bugs in your hotel room, make sure to request a room further than simply the adjacent room or the one directly or below the infected one. Bed bugs can quickly be spread by hitching a ride on housekeeping carts.

Although these prevention tips may seem over-the-top, you’ll surely regret not looking for bed bugs should you come home with them. Hotels take bed bugs very seriously and will of course accommodate your requests for a new room should you find bed bugs.

Checking Your Luggage for Bed Bugs

Traveling requires you to pass through airports, hotel lobbies, hotel rooms, and more with your luggage, meaning you’re coming in contact with a lot of heavily trafficked areas. Just as it’s important to stay vigilant about checking for bed bugs at your hotel, it’s equally if not more essential to inspect your luggage once you return home. Some tips to keep your luggage bed bug-free include:

  1. Consider placing your luggage in a plastic trash bag or other plastic covering while it is sitting in your hotel room.
  2. When you arrive home, inspect your suitcases outdoors before bringing them inside. Once you unpack, use a vacuum to clean out the interior of the bag. Garment steamers also work well to kill and bugs or eggs inside.
  3. Wash all your unpacked clothes, worn or not worn, in a hot water cycle before putting them away in your dresser or closet.

Professional Help for Bed Bug Removal

If you’ve followed all the above prevention tips and still come home with bed bugs after traveling, give the experts at Western Exterminator a call. We can help protect you and your family from worrying about bed bugs biting and infesting your home!

Can You See Bed Bugs with the Naked Eye?

Detecting bed bugs is not an easy task, as they are minuscule in size and can hide in the tiniest cracks. Because they are so small, bed bugs can often be missed until there are signs of an infestation. Their bites are also often confused with those of other pests. Informing yourself on what these little pests look like, and learning about their behaviors, will help you identify any bed bugs you may have in your home. If you know what to look for, yes–you can see bed bugs with the naked eye!

Adult Bed Bugs vs. Baby Bed Bugs

Bed bugs undergo two stages of development once they hatch from their eggs. Baby bed bugs, or nymphs, look different and are much more difficult to spot than their adult counterparts. However, both adult and baby bed bugs share most of the same characteristics:

  • A beak with three segments
  • Four-part antennae
  • Non-flying wings
  • Six legs
  • Cone-like eyes
  • Cause a musty, unique odor
  • Move slower than other insects
  • After eating, their bodies elongate

Adult bed bugs have the following unique characteristics:

  • Range in size from 5–7 mm
  • Red-brown in color after eating, brown in color otherwise

Some of the identifying characteristics of nymphs include:

  • Range in size from 1.5–4.5 mm
  • Typically translucent or white-yellow in color

Bed Bug Behavior and Habits

In addition to their physical attributes, knowing how bed bugs behave is a reliable way to identify them. Some of their distinguishable habits include:

  • They prefer to spend their lives in hiding, which is why they’re so difficult to locate.
  • Bed bugs can travel by hitching rides on clothing, luggage, furniture, and other household items.
  • As their name implies, they are nesting pests that dwell where people or pets sleep, and feed when the subject is at rest. Once they finish feeding, they return to their hiding spot.
  • They tend to live in small populations but may move on in search of other food sources.
  • Bed bugs dislike daylight and thus will typically only feed at night–unless they are starved and a resting host is present.

Debunking Bed Bug Myths

There is a lot of misinformation about bed bugs that adds to them being misidentified so often. It’s important to dispel myths about bed bugs in order to better inform people on what to expect in a bed bug infestation. Contrary to what people may think, some important things to know about bed bugs include:

  • Bed bugs do not fly. They are slow crawling creatures that are not capable of jumping or flying.
  • Bed bugs are not attracted to dirty places. Although a messy space provides more hiding opportunities, bed bugs are drawn to warmth and blood.
  • Bed bugs don’t only live in beds. They can be found in headboards, couches, luggage, and a variety of other household items.
  • People cannot carry bed bugs on their bodies like ticks or lice. Instead, they typically travel via luggage, shoes, backpacks, etc.
  • Most importantly, bed bugs do not carry or spread disease. There have been no studies proving that bed bugs transmit diseases between humans.

Professional Help for Identifying Bed Bugs

Even though bed bugs can indeed be spotted by the naked eye, it isn’t always easy to locate them. If you suspect you have bed bugs, try looking around headboards, in furniture cushions, and along mattresses. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, Western Exterminator has the experience and resources necessary to locate, identify, and diagnose any bed bug problems you may be experiencing. Call us today to learn how we can protect your home from bed bugs!

How to Check for Signs of Bed Bugs

Where to Look for Bed Bugs in Your Home

The first step toward solving a problem is knowing you have one! Bed bugs aren’t lingering only around mattresses and under pillows, however–they can be found in a lot of different places!

Here are some common areas bed bugs can be found within a home:

  • Headboards
  • Mattress piping
  • Furniture
  • Pet beds and kennels
  • Baseboards
  • Electrical outlets
  • Windowsills

Some of these may surprise you. You might not think about bed bugs hanging around your windows, but the truth is this: bed bugs will hide anywhere, if it gives them access to blood: pet or human. This is why bed bug infestations can be so difficult to get rid of, and why it can take a team of experts to properly rid your home of these invasive pests.

Bed Bug Bites Aren’t Always Accurate

Although you might think bed bug bites would be the best indication of a bed bug problem: they aren’t! Unless you’re an expert in entomology–and even if you are!–bug bites can’t typically be identified by sight alone. There are a few common culprits of bite-like welts on the skin.

If you have a physical reaction that looks like bites over a large area, please see a doctor! A physician can help you determine whether it’s an allergic reaction to a bug bite or another environmental factor.

Check for These Signs of Bed Bugs

So you know where to look–but do you know what to look for? Bed bugs may be tiny, but they will leave visible indications! To see if these pests have been active overnight, check your mattress in the morning for these signs:

  • Reddish or rusty smears and stains. This occurs when bed bugs are squished.
  • Pale yellow eggshells or eggs. They are very tiny, but they can be seen with the naked eye.
  • Tiny dark spots in clumps. This is bed bug excrement.
  • Live bed bugs can sometimes be spotted as well.

Detect Bed Bugs While Traveling

Let’s say you’ve inspect your entire home from time to time, and you haven’t seen a bed bug yet. Great! But there is another aspect of bed bug infestation to consider: bugs picked up while traveling!

Bed bugs love to live in furniture, mattresses, and sometimes even clothing. They can travel with people to new destinations, and can even survive for up to five months without feeding. You could potentially pick up bed bugs in a hotel or even a friend’s guestroom, and not even know it. Here are some basic steps to prevent bed bugs from latching onto your vacation:

  • Keep suitcases off the floor and away from the walls.
  • Don’t leave clothing out on the floor or bed.
  • If you’re concerned about the room you’re staying in, go the extra mile. Keep your luggage in a plastic bag!
  • Inspect your suitcase when you get home. Make sure to check the lining, the zipper, all of the pockets, and any other tiny crevices.
  • Wash all laundry on hot, and tumble dry on a high temperature.

Professionals Can Confirm Signs of Bed Bugs

When you work with a professional bed bug exterminator, they are able to share their valuable expertise and experience, inspect your property, and make an accurate diagnosis. We don’t want anyone to worry over bed bugs, and we certainly want to lend a hand whenever we can! If you’re concerned about bed bugs, call Western Exterminator. We’ll be able to confirm any signs of bed bugs, and help you treat and protect your home!

Preventing Bed Bugs in College Dorms

College is an exciting time. While your child is getting packed and ready for the next school year, it’s an ideal time to go over the risks and dangers of bed bugs. Bed bugs have made a comeback across the United States, and bed bug infestations are at an all-time high–especially in living situations with a high population and a typically lower level of hygiene. College dorms and apartments are the perfect environment for a bed bug infestation. Western Exterminator has put together our favorite tips and tricks for beating bed bugs.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips for Your Child

Inspect your college dorm room or apartment when you arrive: These tiny bugs can be very difficult to spot, but it is possible to find signs of their presence.

  1. Before you settle into your room, take a moment to inspect the room for signs of bedbugs.
    • Look around and between the mattress and box spring for any signs of eggs, feces, or skin that has been shed.
    • When you look at the surface of the mattress, you might find tiny specks of blood, where the bugs have bitten before.
    • Check any and all furniture within the apartment for signs of bed bugs.
  2. Bring a mattress encasement with you: Look for one that will completely seal your mattress.
    • Keep your sheets out of reach: Bed bugs can climb into your bed from the floor.
    • In general, it’s good preventative practice to keep everything off the floor, including clothes, backpacks, suitcases, and pillows.
    • Reduce clutter to prevent hiding places and unseen infestations.
  3. Wash bed linens frequently in hot water and dry thoroughly on highest heat setting.
    • Heat kills bed bugs.
  4. Don’t bring any furniture or used belongings back to your dorm or apartment without inspecting them first.
  5. Don’t leave your backpack on couches or other furniture pieces for long periods of time, especially in other people’s rooms.


Prevent Bed Bugs from Returning to Your Home

While your child is away at college, you might think your house is safe from bed bugs. But what happens when they come home? Bed bugs can make their way into suitcases and backpacks, making the journey home for Thanksgiving or Christmas a nightmare. The following precautions can help reduce the risk of a bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Put any luggage into garbage bags before bringing it into the house.
  • Wash and dry all clothing in the hottest water the fabric can safely withstand and dry on high heat setting.
  • For dry clean clothes that are able to be placed in dryer, put in dryer on medium to high setting and run for at least 30 minutes.
  • Thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the suitcase. Pay careful attention to the lining and any pockets where the bugs could be hiding.


Treatment for Bed Bugs in Dorms

The worst has happened, and despite your best efforts–you found bed bugs! Don’t try to treat them by yourself; though there are ways to help rid your home or dorm room of bed bugs, it can also make matters worse. Often times the home remedies only push the bed bugs away from the treatment and further into your home.
If the bed bug infestation is within a dorm, contact the RA right away. The school has measures in place for bed bug infestations. If the bed bug infestation is in a college apartment, or at your home, call a professional bed bug exterminator right away. The faster the problem is taken care of, the less it can spread and infest other apartments or homes.