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Summer vacation? Don’t add bedbugs to your souvenir list

It’s July! And for many of us, that means slathering on the sunscreen and hitting the road for a hard-earned vacation. If you’re leaving Bethesda this summer for a change of scenery and some well-deserved R&R, it’s important to avoid hitchhikers – and we don’t just mean the kind with thumbs. Peak vacation season also means peak bedbug season, so here are seven ways to avoid these pesky little vacation- ruiners and focus on soothing sunburns instead of bites.

1. Do your homework.

Before booking a hotel room, beach rental, or cabin, read the online reviews. Do any previous customers complain about a bedbug infestation in their room? If so, it may be best to skip this one. Note that while bedbugs were once associated with filthy motels, they can now be found in the most expensive resort hotels. So do your research regardless of the star count.

2. Prepare your baggage.

Your best bet for making sure bedbugs don’t attach themselves to your luggage is investing in a hard-cased suitcase, available on Amazon and in most luggage stores. If you’re using a fabric suitcase, store clothing in a large plastic bag or protective cover, preferably one that seals. Keep clothing in this bag for the duration of your trip.

3. Check your seats.

When taking any public transportation, such as planes, taxis, and buses, take a quick moment to inspect your seat, particularly in the seams.

4. Examine your room.

Upon arrival at your destination, give your room a thorough inspection before unpacking. Check the box springs and seams of your mattresses, pillows and pillowcases, furniture, headboards, and baseboards for pepper-like stains, shed bug skins, and tiny eggs. If your room has a distinctive bitter odor, that could also indicate an infestation. If you do find signs of bedbugs, inform management immediately and ask to be moved to a room that’s not adjacent to the one that’s infested.

5. Store luggage carefully.

Never place luggage or clothing on soft furniture or bedding. Instead, place it on a hard surface like the luggage rack, bathtub, or on a tile floor in your hotel room.

6. Check your skin.

True to their name, bedbugs usually bite while you’re sleeping. If you wake up with a clump of red welts on your skin, that’s another sign that you may need to switch rooms.

7. Don’t bring them home.

Bedbugs are the worst kind of souvenir. When you return home, put all clothing – even the stuff you didn’t wear – directly from your suitcase into a hot washing machine. Dispose of the plastic bags outside, and vacuum out your suitcase immediately. Return your luggage directly to an attic or basement, away from your bedroom.

If, after so many precautions, you do happen to drag bedbugs home with you, don’t delay in calling in a professional to help you take care of your problem. Green Pest Services offers a complete and thorough treatment package that will have you sleeping easily through the rest of your summer nights.