Summer Travel Advisory: watch out for bed bugs!

Memorial weekend ushered in summer and summer plans. As our activities increase with the warm weather and in our travels whether local or far away, we should be mindful of pests such as bed bugs. Whether you are staying in a hotel, cabin, or at someone’s home, it is always a good idea to examine your quarters prior to entering.

The first thing you want to do is to leave your luggage in your vehicle or outside of the room. You do not want to unnecessarily contaminate your clothing. Next, head straight for the bed and peel back the covers to expose the mattress. Check the seams on the top and the bottom part of the mattress. If you see what looks like flakes of pepper, black dots, or any red/dried blood this could be an indication of bug activity. (see photos below) Third: Check the headboard behind and all around. Also, check behind any artwork/pictures on the walls. You are looking for live bugs- they are good hiders! There are many other areas that they hide in, but checking the bed is a good indicator as to whether you have an issue or not.

You may have heard some research that was conducted. It turns out that bed bugs are attracted to as well as repulsed by certain colors! Regardless of this interesting study, wearing the color they despise the most does not protect you from bed bugs wherever you go. Bed bugs are anti-discriminatory. Whether you are in a movie theater, posh hotel, or border house they are only after one thing: your blood.  To read about research click here

What attracts a bed bug to you, you ask? When you breathe out, you emit carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is a beacon for bed bugs to find and feed on you! Not only are they attracted to you as their source for a meal, they have now found a host that will allow them to produce babies. Female bed bugs can lay as many as five eggs daily! It takes twenty-one days for the babies to fully mature with some molting in the middle of it. In order to molt this child into a teen/adult, he has to have a blood meal first. This blood meal means he has to feed on you, of course.

Should a person call a professional? I know, there are so many things you can do according to the internet. Steaming. Laundering. Showering. Repeat.  This is just part of your arsenal in the battle that is bed bug ninja folklore! In a class I was in several years agoColor research click here prior to the major resurgence of this super-ninja-vampire-bug our instructor, Dr. Austin Frishman held up an ordinary hotel hanger. He asked, “How many hiding spaces are on this hanger?”

Silence. Hiding places on a clothes hanger?

Dr. Frishman counted for us: 1: The dip where a spaghetti strap would rest in. 2: The inside of the hanger corner where the top and bottom meet. 3: the opposite corner 4: the other dip where the other spaghetti strap would rest and 5: the hook at the top of the whole contraption


The point is: unless you consult a trained professional, you will not know the intricate details of where bed bugs could hide. Pests are survivalists and bed bugs can not only hide from you, but they can live for months without a blood meal. Like any other organism that feels threatened, they can stay away for a time before attacking you again in your sleep.

Be sure to work hand in hand with a professional bed bug killer. You will save on being psychologically affected as well as countless hours of guess work and reoccurrences.bed bug activity Bed bug activity 3

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