Winter blues can take a toll on a family.  The cold and snow can grow old and the indoors can seem suffocating after a few weeks of winter.  Many families take advantage of the fall and winter breaks from school and schedule a quick vacation to a warmer climate.  If you choose to plan a winter getaway, take bed bug control precautions to endure that you don’t bring home any unwanted house guests.  

Bed bugs were virtually unheard of a decade ago.  However, they have made a surprising comeback over the past 10 years or so and are now a disturbing trend in pest extermination.  Taking precautions before and after a vacation can help keep your home free of these nasty pests.  

Bedbugs are difficult to avoid for at least two reasons.  First, they are extremely small and hard to see.  Secondly, they are nocturnal.  They only come out at night to feed.  You may not be able to immediately see if your hotel or motel room has an infestation.  

Room Rules

Check out the online reviews and complaints before booking a hotel.  There are also websites tracking and reporting infestations so browse around before making a reservation.  Certain areas are considered “hot spots” for bedbug infestations.  Choose a hotel that changes all the bed linens in between guests.  Ask when the hotel was last treated and what bed bug control services were employed.  

Make your own inspection once you arrive.  Look in the crevices of both the bed and the mattress for evidence of bedbug activity.  Take a peek at the mattress under the sheets to see if there are blood specks left from previous vacationers who were bitten.  

Look inside the bedside tables, too.  Check inside the drawers and in the grooves of the wood.  Bedbugs will rest in any protected groove during the day.  

Luggage Laws

As a rule, keep your luggage off the bed and elevated from the floor.  This won’t prevent a bedbug from hopping on but it will make it much harder.  Consider keeping your clothes in sealed plastic bags, one for clean clothes and one for dirty.   

Return Regulations

When you get home, leave the luggage in the garage for a day or two.  If the weather is quite cold, it might kill most of the insect hitchhikers that may have followed you home.  However, don’t count on this measure alone.  Wash clothes immediately upon your return.  Give your luggage a thorough vacuuming, making sure to open all compartments and getting inside any liners.  Empty the container or bag into an outside garbage can right away.   

If you do find that you have unwanted guest in your home, call an bed bug exterminator right way.  Don’t be embarrassed.  Professionals can make sure that the problem doesn’t escalate with bed bug heat treatments and other measures.