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Tips For A Bedbug Free Trip

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Anti-Bedbug Travel 101

By Caroline Shin

Check yourself before you check in. You don’t want to be the unwitting carrier.

As soon as you open your hotel room door, take a deep breath and sniff for a “sweet” or “musty” smell. It’s also been compared to raspberries or coriander.

To bedbugs, beds are restaurants where they’re served “breakfast,” “lunch” and “dinner,” named after their characteristic three-bite patterns. They hang out there because of the body warmth, carbon dioxide and other “metabolic by-product odors” that waft from humans, their food.

So, when you enter a hotel, check the seams of mattresses and box springs for the pesky critters and the pillow cases and bedsheets for blood spots or fecal matter.

Do not drape clothes over furniture.

If you notice any signs, alert the hotel management right away. Terminix recommends that you call from the hotel room to prevent any spread of bedbugs.

Like you, bedbugs like to travel, especially with complimentary room, board and transportation. They hitch rides covertly in suitcases and backpacks, then jump under seats of cars, buses and trains. Do not put your suitcases on the bed. Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.

Once you’re back at home, vacuum your suitcases and separate your traveling clothes from the household laundry. Run them in the dryer for about 30 minutes since bedbugs die at temperatures of 120 degrees and up. Sorkin also notes that a cluttered home has “more 3-dimensional space” for the bedbugs to hide in.

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