Whether traveling out of state or staying local, here’s how to avoid bringing bed bugs to your Massachusetts home.
With Labor Day around the corner, many New England families are planning their “last hurrah” vacations before school begins and the unofficial end of summer arrives. It's a great way to regroup before the constant activity of the school year-- Unfortunately, one of the most feared pests in existence also benefits from our eagerness to travel: Bed bugs. Whether your vacation plans are grand, or of the “staycation” variety, bed bugs are a real threat, and not a desirable souvenir. Here are some tips to avoid bringing bed bugs into your Massachusetts home.
Reduce Clutter: Bed bugs, like many pests, prefer warm, dark spaces. Keep things tidy, especially around headboards and nightstands and beneath beds, to reduce bed bug hiding places.
Wash Often: Regularly launder sheets, comforters, and dust ruffles, as well as curtains and tapestries that hang near beds, and pajamas. This is especially important if you have had guests staying over.
Vacuum Regularly: While vacuuming won’t eliminate a bed bug infestation, vacuuming frequently can help to reduce or prevent populations.
Check Your Bags: Bed bugs are skilled hitchhikers. They do not fly and are not accomplished jumpers; rather, they crawl into suitcases, purses, backpacks, and any other luggage with dark, tight spaces like seams and pockets, or cozy spaces inside folded clothing, bedding, towels, or pillows. Consider packing these items in sealed plastic bags.
Keep it Up: Do not place luggage on the floor when you reach your destination; leave it in the car, use the luggage rack, or even place it in the bathtub until you’ve inspected your accommodations.
Know What to Look For: Inspect bedding for signs of activity such as blood spots, shed light brown skins, or the obvious live bed bug. Carefully pull back bedding and any mattress pads or covers. Check all corners and seams of the mattress, as well as along the headboard for evidence of activity. Inspect curtains, closets, furniture, and inside drawers. If you find any indication of a bed bug problem, report it immediately.
Be Vigilant: Keep a close eye for any red spots or welts on your body that may be bug bites. Bed bug bites may itch, but that is not the case for everyone.
Upon Returning Home: Inspect your suitcases before going inside, launder clothing and bedding, and continue to monitor your body.
Should you find that you’ve brought some unwelcome guests home, or if you suspect you have, call a professional. Bed bugs are difficult to treat, and it is not recommended to use over-the-counter products. The experts at Burgess Pest Management come armed with nearly a century of experience and the latest technology, so bed bugs don't stand a chance.