Holiday Travel and Bed Bugs

Millions of people will be traveling this holiday season, and many of those travelers will be college students coming home. So, it would be good to consider the risk of bed bugs and their traveling habits.

Bed bugs love college too; many people coming and going, passersby, and sleep overs. So many opportunities, it’s a relative smorgasbord to these little vampires! Then kids come home and with them, possibly an uninvited bed bug hitch hiker.

Bed bugs are no joke. They do not discriminate, and they are seriously out for blood. Just one female bed bug can lay 1-5 eggs each day and up to 500 in a lifetime, about 4-12 months. Eggs are about 1/16” or 1mm in size. They hatch in about 7 days and are fully grown adults that can reproduce in about 5-6 weeks. Once hatched, they need blood to grow and can feed up to once a day. They feed usually at night when people or animals are sleeping.

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Figures ref: www.cdc.gov

So, take into consideration these few tips:

  1. Inspect your college student’s luggage when they get home. Inspect all folds, crevices, zippers, handles, etc. Don’t forget the inside of the luggage as well and use a flashlight. If you do find eggs or bugs, it’s important to contain them. Call us immediately for more detailed advice.
  2. Wash his or her clothes. One measure of insurance is to wash all his or her clothes as soon as he/she arrives. Use a hot wash and the hottest dryer temperature available. This will kill all stages of bed bugs.
  3. After he or she has been home for several days, inspect the furniture and areas surrounding the bed, looking for eggs, bugs, or mysterious dark spots that weren’t there before.
  4. After your guest has left, thoroughly clean and vacuum the room or area they were sleeping in, paying close attention to small crevices where they may hide, and throw away the vacuum bag afterward.

You may feel a little paranoid after following these tips. Don’t. Really, all you’re doing is managing the risk that bed bugs will become established in your home. They weren’t invited, and we want you to keep it that way.

Thanks for reading. We at Garfield Pest Control hope you are enjoying your holiday season and hope it continues into the new year.