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Don't Bring Bed Bugs Home From Summer Vacation

At Termagon, one of the pests we encounter most are bedbugs. These brown, oval-shaped parasites have been making a comeback since the 1990s, so it wouldn't be surprising if your suspicions turned out to be right and you actually found them in your home.

How Bedbugs Get In

Despite the stigma that attaches to a property with bedbugs, these pests don't discriminate between low-class and high-class establishments. No matter how clean or well-maintained a home is, bedbugs will get in as long as the home provides food and warm shelter. They can squeeze through almost any crack in the exterior.

More often, though, they dwell in hotels and motels and latch onto occupants' clothing and luggage, especially warm electrical devices like laptops; in this way, they infiltrate homes without any effort whatsoever. Once they're inside, they migrate to tight spaces like cracks in the walls and baseboards and to cluttered areas like the closet. The number-one target is the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. From there, they don't have to travel far to suck the blood of human hosts in their sleep.

Preventing an Invasion

You don't want your summer vacation to be ruined by bedbugs, so you'll need to take some preventative measures at every hotel you stay. First, check the bed(s) in your room for any signs of bedbugs. These pests are about the size of an apple seed and can be seen by the naked eye. They shed their skin, so if you find light-colored shells with a bedbug outline to them, you know the place is infested. Other signs include spots that have bled through the sheets (most likely bedbug excrement) and blood spots (most likely the crushed remains of a bedbug).

Assuming that the inspection turns up nothing, you'll still want to be wary of unpacking your luggage on your bed. On the other hand, it's not a good idea to unpack it on the floor. If there's a luggage stand, take advantage of it. Also, if possible, place your clothes in seal storage bags. Before checking out, thoroughly check your suitcases and bags, especially the zippers and pockets, for these pests. Their eggs are white, sometimes pale yellow, and may stand out in a black bag.

Returning to your home, you'll want to check your luggage again in the garage before bringing it inside. It's also advisable to put the clothes you're wearing into the dryer and set it to the highest temperature. Bedbugs die in the extreme heat, usually in temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

Finally, if you suspect that bedbugs are in your home, don't move to another bed; this will make matters worse. Simply contact Termagon, and we'll thoroughly inspect your property and provide a free estimate for treatment.

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