The holidays are nearly upon us. While for most people this means turkey dinners, football, and the bustling sprawl of Christmas shopping, for pest control experts, it means one thing: Bed bugs. You might be thinking to yourself, “Well that’s not a very festive thing to think about during the season of joy,” and you’d be right to think that. It’s not particularly festive! Yet we get more calls for bed bug problems in December and January than we do all year long.
Why? Simply, because we travel more. Folks are coming in from out of town to spend the holidays with loved ones. They take planes, trains, and automobiles. They stay in hotels, take Ubers, and have more access to others than they will at any other point in the year. So this raises their risk significantly of infesting their own home with bed bugs. For those who are concerned, there are simple measures and travel tips that you can take to reduce the risk of bed bugs in your home.
Hose Down Guests In Clean Room & Burn Their Clothes
There’s no better way to avoid bed bugs than having your overnight guests disrobe and then burning their clothes. You’ll want to spray them down with a high-velocity water hose to ensure that there are no lingering bed bugs on their bodies. You will then have to provide them with pre-screened clean clothes.
Alternatively, you can choose to cloister yourself into a clean room for the holiday season and avoid people entirely. This method works nearly 100% of the time but provides most people with 100% less holiday joy.
This is just a joke! Now that we’ve had a little fun, let’s get to some viable strategies for preventing bed bugs this holiday season.
Managing Guest Beds
In the daylight, bed bugs like venture forth into your walls and baseboards. At night, they’ll emerge to feed on you in your sleep. If you move guest beds away from the walls, there will be significantly less chance that they will have anywhere to go. Bed bugs cannot jump or fly, so tucking in sheets and blankets will make it more difficult for them to access the inner crevices of the bed. Pest control experts also recommend encasing box springs and mattresses is vinyl polyurethane covers that are not permeable to bed bugs.
Additionally, you should use very light (white) sheets to aid in bed bug detection. Since bed bugs are small and black, they’ll be much easier to see on white sheets than dark ones.
Cleaning After Your Guests Have Left
Any linens sheets and blankets that guests have used during their stay should be burned. Just kidding. No, you don’t have to burn your guests’ linens. However, you can wash them at high heat. Bed bugs cannot survive temperatures that are greater than 113 °F, so washing the linens at a high temperature will kill any bed bugs that have been potentially brought by guests. You will need to sustain a temperature of about 120 °F for an hour to kill any bed bugs and eggs. While bed bugs don’t mind the heat, don’t think that the water will kill them. It won’t.
Next, you’ll want to deal with the mattresses. You can use a small hand-held vacuum to scoop up any eggs that may have been left behind and adult bed bugs.
In the next couple of weeks, you should remain on high alert. If there are bed bugs, you’ll be able to see signs in the seams of your mattress. If there is an active infestation, you’ll need to treat it immediately to prevent it from spreading. If you’ve used a bed bug-resistant mattress casing, you’ll have to be less vigilant. But you should still maintain some vigilance.
I Did All That, But I Still Have Bed Bugs!
It happens. It sometimes even happens to pest control experts who unknowingly track the little buggers home with us. It’s not difficult to do and the bed bug’s entire survival depends on their clandestine infiltration.
But if you do have an active infestation, you want to get it taken care of right away. If the bed bugs spread from room to room, you’ll then be looking at expensive multi-room treatments. Catching the problem quickly saves you from a much bigger problem.
Talk To Our Bed Bug Control Experts Today
If you have an active bed bug infestation, Pointe Pest Control can help eradicate it for you. Talk to us today and we will take a look at the problem and recommend a course of treatments that will help you sleep soundly this holiday season.