The holiday season is the busiest travel season of the year. Airports, train stations, and bus stations are teeming with people. While many people look forward to traveling to visit with loved ones, there is another danger lurking out of sight…. bed bugs! Bed bugs like to catch rides on our clothes, luggage, and even the seats on planes. Once they’re brought into your home, they can be extremely hard to get rid of. What can you do to prevent bringing these pests in and ruining your holiday spirit? Check out these 7 tips to avoid bed bugs this holiday season.

  1. Keep An Eye Out. Inspect your surroundings for signs of bed bugs. Check the mattress, box springs, and headboard. Check sofa and chair cushions. Be sure to check the seams and zippers. Bed bugs typically leave small, rust colored spots.
  2. Bring The Heat. High heat kills bed bugs. Wash any clothes or bed linens that may have been exposed to bed bugs in hot water and dry on high heat.
  3. Avoid The Bed. Don’t put luggage or clothing on the bed or in dresser drawers. Use luggage racks if possible. If you do have to place luggage on the bed, lay a sheet down first. When you remove the luggage, wash the sheet in hot water and dry on high heat. Place shoes on a plastic mat by the door and wash with hot, soapy water when you leave. Use a bed bug mattress cover when possible.
  4. Clean Up After Your Guests. If you have houseguests who may have brought in bed bugs, strip any linens after they leave and wash in hot water and dry on high heat. Vacuum the beds and couches where they slept and seal and dispose of the vacuum bag immediately.
  5. Don’t Wait Around. When you return home from a trip, undress and unpack immediately. Wash everything in hot water and dry on high heat. Vacuum or steam luggage and store it in a plastic bag or container outside the house (in the garage or shed) until you need to use it again.
  6. Do your research. You can check the Bed Bug Registry, which is a user-submitted database of bed bug reports across the United States and Canada. Check to see if your accommodations have any reports of bed bugs before booking your stay.
  7. Use A Professional. Bed bugs can be very hard to get rid of. If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, call a professional pest control company who can provide you with an extensive evaluation and treatment plan.