Bed Bugs: Important steps you need to take.

Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

How To Travel And Stay Bed Bug Free!

    Bed bugs were a very common problem in the U.S.. After World War II, we were able to virtually eradicate these pests by using residual insecticides, such as DDT and Malathion. However, bed bugs began to re-emerge during the 1990’s in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and many other countries.

    No one is sure of why these pests have re-emerged to such a large degree. But, when you consider that bed bug activity has increased world-wide and that so many people from other countries are visiting ours, one should certainly consider travel to be a major factor.

    Another factor could be the way in which modern day pest control procedures have changed. Everyone wants us to use lower amounts of pesticides when performing pest control services. Twenty years ago, it was common for pest control professionals to treat all of the baseboards in hotels, motels and apartments. So, if someone did bring in luggage that was infested with bed bugs, these pests would likely come in contact with the insecticide and die. In today’s world, we don’t spray the baseboards in every room with residual products. In many cases, we are only applying baits to control such pests as ants and roaches. That provides a safer environment for you and your family. But now, without residual insecticide applications, bed bugs are free to travel throughout the room, climb into your bed for a blood meal and to start infestations at will.

    Are you planning to take a vacation or business trip?   

Here is a list of things you should do before you leave:

  • Encase all of your mattresses and box springs before you go. We highly recommend that you use the “Bug Lock” brand encasements. These will completely seal your mattresses and box springs. You need to do this because, if you accidently do bring bed bugs home with you from your trip, these will keep them from infesting your mattresses and box springs. Please note that most mattress covers are not bed bug proof and it you’re serious about keeping them out, don’t settle for less than the best.
  • Bring heavy duty plastic bags with you in your car. Buy 2 ml or greater plastic bags that are large enough to fit over your suitcases. On your way home from your trip, you’ll need to seal your luggage in these bags before you put them in your car. If you do pick up bed bugs while traveling, this will keep them from infesting your car.
  • We recommend that you buy “No-Pest Strips”. These will be used to destroy bed bugs that may have got into your luggage during the trip.
  • When packing for your trip, we recommend hard shelled luggage because it is less friendly to bed bugs. Items, such as electronics, toiletries, etc. should be packed in Ziploc bags to protect them from bed bugs.   Clothing that can be hot laundered or dry cleaned can be dealt with when you get home.

While you’re at your destination, here’s what you should do:

  • Keep your luggage closed and don’t place it next to beds, upholstered furniture or in a closet.
  • Keep items like books, electronics and toiletries in Ziploc bags when you’re not using them. Even your laptop should be kept in a Ziploc bag, especially at night.
  • Inspect your bed by pulling back the sheets and checking the edges of the mattress and box springs. Look for signs of live bugs, dark brown or black spots and shed skins from bed bugs. If you see signs of a bed bug infestation, you should notify the property manager immediately.

When you are ready to return home, these are very important steps you need to take:

  • Seal all luggage in heavy duty plastic bags before you put them in your car. Again, this will keep the bed bugs from infesting your vehicle.
  • When you get home, don’t take your luggage inside your house. We recommend unpacking your items in a well lit garage or outdoors. Be sure to throw out the plastic bags that you used to seal up your luggage. Place them in the trash, outside and away from your home.
  • Separate clothing that can be laundered and clothing to be dry cleaned. Seal items to be laundered in plastic bags or in dissolvable laundry bags. Items to be dry cleaned should be sealed in plastic bags and sent to the cleaners as soon as possible.
  • Clothing to be laundered should be washed in the hottest possible wash cycle and then placed in a dryer for at least 30 minutes.
  • Items that can’t be laundered, such as electronics or luggage, should be put in a plastic bag. Place one of the “No Pest Strips” that you purchased before the trip in the bag and seal it. Leave the bag sealed for at least two weeks to insure that all bed bugs have been destroyed. NOTE: YOU MUST ALWAYS FOLLOW THE PRODUCT LABEL’S INSTRUCTIONS. NEVER USE THIS PRODUCT WITH FOOD, MEDICINE, SKIN CARE OR COSMETIC ITEMS! Another way to deal with items that can’t be laundered is to put them in a black plastic bag and expose them to a hot environment, such as in an automobile during a sunny day. The inside of the bag will have to reach 115° F for at least 20 minutes. Please note that this method is not suitable for items that may be heat sensitive.
  • Double check you mattress and box spring encasements you installed before you left home. These should be inspected from time to time after returning to ensure that you are bed bug free. If you do see any signs of bed bugs, you need to call a professional pest control specialist.

    We know that all of these precautions may seem a bit much for you to have to deal with. But, ask anyone that has lived through the nightmare of a bed bug infestation and they will all tell you that these steps are well worth the trouble.

    Do you suspect that you have a problem with bed bugs? Call our office at (949) 631-7348 or click on order form and we’ll be happy to schedule a check up at your convenience.