Tips To Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

Summer is right around the corner, COVID regulations are quickly coming to a long-awaited end. Does it make any sense as to why more and more families are packing up and hitting the roads again? With months and months of being stuck at home, people are antsier than they have ever been before. During your downtime, you likely spent every day scouring the news for improvements. During this time, you probably heard a lot about traveling bed bug infestations. Unfortunately, bed bugs in the hospitality industry haven’t gotten much better. If anything, they have gotten worse. This is why you need to know how to properly protect yourself when traveling with your family.

SURVEY

The SLEEP theory is the best way to protect your family when traveling. The first part of the theory starts with the S. This represents survey and it pretty much means what you’d think. It means surveying the grounds where you are staying. This is where a lot of people mess up, and this is not good, given that it is the first step. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that just because they are paying $200 a night for a room or staying in a hotel that’s rated the highest possible on the Internet that their room will okay or critter-free. Sure, it might be clean, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be bed bug-free. Bed bugs have invaded some of the cleanest hotels and homes in the world. Begin by properly surveying the premises. Check everything!

LIFT And LOOK

It might be just the second letter of the SLEEP theory, but it is so important that it has two meanings. The L in the SLEEP theory represents lift and look. This is almost just an extension of the first step. It means to perform a more thorough examination of the room. Don’t just conduct a visual survey, but make a physical attempt to locate the potential bed bugs in the room. However, to do this in the most effective manner possible, you’ll need to know some of the potential hiding spots for bed bugs. Some of the common places for these bugs are mattresses, box springs, nightstands, behind baseboards, in electrical outlets, and upholstered furniture. This is just to name a few, as there are tons. Whatever the situation, just make sure you are lifting, moving, and looking under and behind items. A visual inspection will not be good enough. Look in the drawers of the dressers. Look in the shelves of the cabinets, and scour the tops of the closets.

ELEVATION

There are two E’s in the SLEEP theory and the first is without one of the most important of the entire theory. All in all, this part of the theory is pretty ingenious when you think about it. You know those elevated racks usually installed near the closets or bathrooms in hotels? Those racks apply to this theory. This part of the theory involves elevating your luggage upon entering the hotel room. Instead of just coming in and unpacking, put your luggage upon these racks, scour the room for signs of an infestation, and then make yourself at home. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can even crawl on walls, but they don’t like to. The harder you make it to get to your belongings, the less likely you are of bringing home an infestation with you.

EXAMINE

If you thought the first E of the SLEEP theory was ingenious, you are in for a real treat with the second one. That being said, when most people see this part of the theory, they think of it as a continuation of the first step. This part of theory means to examine, but it does not mean examining the room. It means examining your belongings before pack up and heading up. Even if you got new clothes or items that are unopened or unworn, you’ll want to double-check these items to make sure they don’t show any signs of bed bugs.

PLACEMENT

It might be the last step in the entire theory, but it ties everything together nicely. This one also applies to the return trip and it means placing your belongings in the washer and dryer before unpacking them back into your home. It’s a scientifically proven fact that bed bugs cannot survive when exposed to temperatures of 140 degrees F or higher. When exposed to these temperatures, their bodies will dehydrate and die. Washing your clothes in the hottest water possible and then drying them in the hottest settings possible will be a surefire way to greatly enhance your likelihood of avoiding an infestation. It’s no huge secret that bed bugs are hard to eliminate. This is why it is best to try to prevent a problem before it becomes a major mess. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing when applying the SLEEP theory. If you have more questions, concerns, or want to set up an appointment for a visit, you can give our offices a call. We always have an in-house rep standing by ready to assist and answer questions. Unfortunately, there is only so much this individual can do from behind his or her desk. This is why the next step is for us to dispatch out a trained assessor or inspector. He or she will properly survey the area while identifying key factors leading to the infestation.

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