Guest post for Bug Off Pest Control Center provided by Douglas Stern, Managing Partner of Stern Environmental Group in Secaucus, New Jersey

Nothing can be worse than taking off for a fun weekend get-away or a family vacation and returning home with some unwanted souvenirs.  Hotels and motels are one of the easiest places that you can pick up bed bugs.  Bed bugs can strike both upscale and budget priced hotels and motels.  One hotel guest recently had a run in with these blood thirsty pests at one of the most expensive hotels in New York City.

Here are some tips to avoid bed bugs while you travel.  Before settling into a hotel room…

  • Place your luggage in the bathtub as soon as your arrive in the room.  Bed bugs do not crawl well on slick surfaces so it is unlikely that bed bugs will be found in the bathroom.
  • The next step is to carefully inspect your room for these bloodsuckers.  Bed bugs typically lurk within 20 feet of the bed.  Fecal matter, blood stains, and shed skins are all evidence that bed bugs are present.
  • Look for evidence of bed bugs on the bedding material, mattress (especially the seamed area), box spring, and behind the head board.  Bed bugs will hide in any crack or crevice. Nightstands, dressers, clocks, televisions, lamps, and even the bedside Bible can fall prey to these creepy bugs.
  • Bed bugs will also hide in curtains, behind picture frames, behind baseboards, in electrical outlets, under carpet, and any other place that they can squeeze their skinny body into.

One pregnant bed bug can turn into 30,000 bed bugs in only a six month time period.  Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, but once they infiltrate your home, it can be a nightmare killing them off!

Not finding bed bugs in your hotel room is a good sign, but it does not mean that you are completely out of the woods when it comes to encountering them.  To be safe, all travelers should assume that the room that they are sleeping in has bed bugs and devise a plan to avoid bringing them home.  Taking a few extra precautions can save you thousands of dollars in pest control treatments, countless sleepless nights, and high levels of anxiety.

  • Never place your luggage on the bed or floor, only use the luggage rack (after you have inspected it for bed bugs).
  • Keep your luggage, zipped shut, and in a sealed trash bag while at the hotel because bed bugs cannot penetrate plastic.
  • Store your luggage on the luggage rack or in the bathroom only.  My personal preference is the bathroom.
  • Any items that are not in use should be sealed in a plastic zipper bag.

When you return home consider taking these easy steps to prevent infecting your home environment:

  • Put all your clothes on return directly into the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes just in case a bed bug did tag a ride home with you. You’ll kill eggs and bed bugs with this simple step.
  • Unpack suitcases in the garage and then store them in a plastic bag. Don’t pack or unpack luggage on your bed in your bedroom!

Bed bugs are a nuisance pest, but they can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions.  Hire a licensed pest control professional at the first sign of the bugs in your home to knock out the infestation before it gets out-of-control.

About the Writer Douglas Stern

Douglas Stern is the managing partner of Stern Environmental Group. His firm serves commercial and residential clients in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. His firm is located at 100 Plaza Drive in Secaucus, New Jersey. You can reach him toll free at 1-888-887-8376 or by email at info@sternenvironmental.com. Please visit us on the Web at www.SternEnvironmental.com. You can follow Douglas Stern on Twitter at and on Facebook.

All of us Bug Off Pest Control Center want to thank Douglas for this great post. If you are interested in sharing your expertise please feel free to submit your guest post to review. Please send it to terri@howtogosocial.com or Andy Linares at andy@bugoffpccenter.com for consideration.

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