Bed bugs are most commonly transported by travelers. They are notorious for hitching a ride on luggage by unsuspecting people. So what can you do to prevent picking up these nasty hitchhikers while you are traveling? Here’s what you need to know about bed bugs and travel.

What They Look Like

  • Small in size, 3/16″ to 1/4″
  • If unfed, brown color with long, flat, oval-shaped body
  • If fed, reddish-brown color with balloon-like body
  • Beak with 3 segments
  • Antenna with 4 parts
  • Wings but can’t fly
  • Golden-colored hairs
  • Sweet or musty odor
  • Nymphs are smaller, translucent, whitish-yellow color
  • Eggs are tiny and pearl white

How To Spot Them

  • Rusty, reddish-brown stains on sheets or mattress
  • Dark spots on bed linens
  • Pale yellow skins left behind by nymphs
  • Eggs and eggshells
  • Live bed bugs

Where To Find Them

  • Piping, seams, tags of mattresses and box springs
  • Cracks in bed frame and headboard
  • Seams of chairs and couches
  • Between cushions
  • Curtain folds
  • Drawer joints
  • Electrical receptacles
  • Appliances
  • Under loose wallpaper
  • Under wall hangings
  • Where wall and ceiling meet
  • Along baseboards
  • Screw heads

How To Prevent Them

  • Check the bed bug registry
  • Inspect the room you are staying in for bed bugs
  • Use a flashlight for better inspection
  • Store suitcases on luggage racks; avoid the bed and the floor
  • Store belongings separately from anyone else’s you are staying with
  • Try storing luggage in trashbags or protective coverings
  • If you find signs of bed bugs, ask to change rooms; don’t move to an adjacent room or a room directly above or below the infested room
  • When you get home, unpack directly into the washing machine
  • Wash and dry clothing on high heat
  • Inspect luggage for bed bugs
  • Clean luggage with vacuum or hand steamer before storing
  • Store luggage away from the bedroom (basement or garage); never store under the bed

If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, contact a professional pest control company for a complete inspection and bed bug control treatment.