There are a lot of worries that come with life on the road and one of the most common today is the fear of bringing home bed bugs, says Forbes contributor and frequent traveler Katie Kelly Bell. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation can cost hundreds of dollars, but bed bug elimination professionals ThermaPro have advice for keeping them out in the first place.
- Pack in collapsible luggage. You need to be able to put your luggage in the dryer and run it on high for 30 minutes immediately after you return home from a trip. Bed bugs can survive extreme cold, but heat will kill them.
- Inspect every hotel room. After you check in, set your luggage on a rack or on the bathroom tile where bed bugs can’t live. Then use a small flashlight, which you should bring on every trip, to inspect the headboard, mattress and nightstand. Check the front and back of the headboard, look in screw holes and joints, and check the mattress for both bugs and the telltale blood spots they leave behind after feeding.
- Check rental cars. In the summer, heat may kill the bugs, but before it does they will try hiding in the trunk and below the spare tire, so look for them lurking there.
- Look out at the airport. There haven’t been many reports of bed bugs on airplanes, but some travelers say they’ve spotted them around luggage areas, so be on the lookout there.
— Adapted from “Important Traveler Tips For Avoiding Bed Bugs,” Katie Kelly Bell, Forbes.