Monday, July 23, 2018

The Other Travelling Terrorist

Horticulture Hotline 07/23/18
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Summertime is here. That means the kids are out of school, maybe time to look at colleges and summer vacation. The talk of bedbugs is not in the news like it used to be, but if you saw our sales of bedbug control products at Possum’s, you would be amazed. Whether you live South of Broad or in a housing project, we have helped you with your bedbug situation. We have learned that is not necessarily the homeowner that brings in the bedbugs, but often it is a guest that is travelling from place to place.  

When you are in a hotel, do you feel phantom insects crawling on you as you sleep? Does your work or sports with the kids require you to stay in hotels, when you would rather be at home in your cozy bed with the dog and his fleas? The worse thing about bed bugs is bringing them home to infest your house in your luggage or on you person. Bed bugs are difficult (expensive) to get manage.

Here some tips for the traveler:

Treat the outside of your luggage with a repellent material labeled for bed bugs on luggage. There are nice smelling organic products (EcoVia) and standard control products labelled for this.

Put all your clothes and toiletry items in see-through plastic bags that you can seal tightly. Upon arriving to your room, put your luggage in the bath / shower area while you inspect the room.

Bring a flashlight, Climb-up Bed Monitors and a Bed Bug Detector. Before you unpack, inspect the mattress and box springs for blood stains, cast skins and live insects. The rope-like band around the mattress will usually have some signs of bugs if there is an issue.  Look around the headboard and any adjacent bedside tables especially in the crack and crevices.

Check these areas with the Bed Bug Detector as well. The Bed Bug Detector detects the gases that bed bugs release (affectionately known as The Bed Bug F@rt Detector in the business).  The Bed Bug Detector is very accurate and easy to use. They are used all over the world by hotels, airlines, bus lines, college dorms, pest management professionals, hospitals, movie theaters, clothing stores, just to name a few. A great gift (Mother’s Day / Father’s Day) for the business or leisure traveler.

When you check in ask if the hotel has had an outbreak of bed bugs in the last year in the room you are checking into. Also ask if any of the adjacent rooms above you, below you, or on either side have been treated for bed bugs. If they have, request another room far away from any outbreak hotspot. Many states have a bed bug registry you can check.

Attach the Climb-up Bed Monitors to the legs of the beds, headboard and the bed stands. These monitors will prevent bed bugs from climbing up the bed for a nighttime attack.
Sleep soundly!

When you get home, leave your luggage outside and run your clothes through a hot dryer cycle. The dryer should dry out any unwanted hitchhikers. Check your toiletry items and re-treat your luggage.

These few simple steps can save you thousands of dollars. Out of the hundreds of customers whose houses have become infested with bed bugs that I’ve talked to at Possum’s buying bedbug control products, I’m sure every one of the wishes they took these few precautions. Bed bugs bite children, babies and adults. They are very difficult to control, and you have to throw away your stuff. No one likes to throw away their stuff!

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.