Theyre coming. And theyre coming to ruin your vacation and your sleep.
The ugly little pests that can cause huge infestations.
Currently, there are reports of a huge bed bug infestation in Paris and this news is not only concerning to residents of the city, but to travelers as well.
If you have a vacation planned soon, dont fret. Heres a breakdown of how to spot bed bugs, prevention and cities where they are most common.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), Most people get bed bugs while traveling. Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on human blood. They can crawl into a suitcase or onto clothing unnoticed.
However, it is possible to spot them. Here are some tips from AAD:
When you walk into the room or cabin, take a deep breath. Do you notice a sweet or musty odor? If there is a heavy infestation, you may notice this smell. Bed bugs produce chemicals to help them communicate.
Next, check the bed. Look carefully at the blankets, sheets, pillows and mattress pad. Then, check the mattress and box spring: Do you see blackish specks, which could be bed bug excrement? Specks of blood anywhere, especially near seams? Shell-like remains on the bed, bedding or furniture? Bed bugs have an outer shell that they shed and leave behind as they grow.
Youll also want to check all upholstered furniture. While checking, you may see bed bugs or their eggs. A bed bug is about the size of an apple seed.
If you find signs of bed bugs, you should immediately request another room or cabin. The other room should not be near the current room.
When you enter your room or cabin for the first time, place your suitcase on the luggage rack. If the room has bed bugs, they can crawl unnoticed from the bed or floor to your suitcase.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Since bed bugs are only about the width of a credit card, they can squeeze into really small hiding spots. If a crack will hold a credit card, it could hide a bed bug.
The EPA has a few specific ways to spot the ones that are harder to see:
Check in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains
Check in drawer joints
Check electrical receptacles and appliances
Look under loose wall paper and wall hangings
Look at the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet
Even look in the head of a screw
According to PestWorld.org: 97% of pest professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year and a majority of them (69%) say that bed bug problems are rising.
So, how can you prevent them from invading your home or ruining your vacation? Heres what Orkin says.
Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. Inspect when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.
Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
When traveling use the SLEEP method:
Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.
Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.
Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 30-45 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.
If youre looking to travel to one of these cities, it may be best to do some research about where you are planning to stay. Or perhaps add them to a do not travel list. Youve been warned.
In fact, according to Orkins list of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities, Ohio cities dominate the list. Six Ohio cities are listed: Cleveland-Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, Youngstown, Dayton and Toledo. Yikes.
Cleveland-Akron was ranked number four on the list, followed by Columbus, Ohio at number 10, Cincinnati at number 13, Youngstown was ranked 27th, Dayton is listed at 34 and Toledo is listed at number 38.
Atlanta, Georgia made the list at number 16.
Here are the top ten:
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Originally posted here:
Bed bugs on vacay? Heres how to keep them from hitching a ride back home with you - AOL