The holiday season is officially upon us and that means more traveling, an increase in visitors, and overall one of the busiest times of the year for most people. While you are deciding on how big of turkey you need, what the perfect gift is for someone, and how to decorate, the last thing that is likely on your mind is bed bugs; however, you should beware of bed bugs over the holidays for the very same reasons you likely aren’t thinking about them. The more you travel, have people in and out of your home or business, and bring in outside decorations, the more at risk you are of these little critters. We are going to review how to avoid giving or getting the gift of bed bugs over the holidays.
How to Avoid Giving or Getting the Gift of Bed Bugs Over the Holidays
When it comes to bed bugs they are pretty resilient and once you have them, they are extremely difficult to get rid of. You may have a bed bug problem that goes undetected for a long time, but still poses a health risk to you and your family, so you should always be alert and watch for signs of bed bugs. The holidays are no exception. In fact, there are some things that put you more at risk for a bed bug infestation during this time of the year than most others. Let’s review.
Hosting a Holiday Party
If you plan to host a holiday party at your home or at your business, you are inviting people in who aren’t often there and with them they may unknowingly bring bed bugs. There are things you can do to prepare and to try to prevent bed bugs at your party.
- Do not place guests’ coats and bags on a bed, other furniture, or in a coat closets with your coats in it. Clear out a closet or another space and dedicate it to your guests’ things and then clean and vacuum that space as soon as everyone leaves.
- Have guests take off shoes upon entering your home or business. If you have carpet, place a plastic mat near your door and have guests’ take off their shoes on that, and then clean it at the end of the party. While people may not love taking off their shoes, they are a great place for bed bugs to hide and hitch a ride on.
- Immediately clean up after your party. When your guests leave, you should immediately clean up. Leaving the mess for the next day could open you up to a bed bug or other pest or rodent infestation. Wipe surfaces, and vacuum your home right after your guests leave and empty your vacuum and dispose of the debris outside.
If you are going to have overnight guests visiting, you should ensure that you eliminate as many places and ways as possible for them to bring bed bugs into your Northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan home.
- Have places for guests to put their things that are not on the bed or furniture. Provide places for them to put their purses, luggage, etc. to avoid them from placing such items on a bed and other furniture. Add a luggage rack or clear room in a closet that can be dedicated to their belongings.
- Move beds and other furniture away from walls. If furniture is right against a wall, it provides an additional hiding spot for bed bugs.
- Declutter. Make sure guest rooms and other areas of your home that your holiday visitors will be in are free of clutter and unnecessary items. This will help minimize the places for bed bugs to take up residence and hide.
- Clean up after guests leave. You should vacuum and clean, just like you should after a holiday party, and if you want to avoid getting bed bugs over the holidays, you should immediately place their bedding and other linens in a plastic bag and take them directly to your washer. Wash and dry these items on the highest temperature setting possible. Be sure to throw away the plastic bags in an outdoor trashcan upon emptying them.
Travel is a big thing during the holidays and with travel comes an increased risks of bed bug coming home with you. According to AAA, more than 109 million people traveled during the 2021 holiday season. With each traveler and touchpoint, you are at risk of picking up these pests likely without even knowing it. There are things you can do to try and prevent this.
- Always be on the lookout. If you are traveling, you should keep your eyes peeled for signs of bed bugs. Before unpacking and taking up residence, check cracks, crevices, seams, and folds of material in the bedding. You should also check mattress seams, carpet edges, and the undersides of sofas and other furniture cushions.
- Carry a few plastic trash bags in your luggage. You can enclose your clothing and other items in trash bags inside your luggage to prevent bed bugs from latching on.
- Don’t place your luggage on beds or on the floor near beds. Store your luggage on a fold-out luggage stand, if there is one, or in the bathtub. Minimize what you bring. Place items on a hard surface, such as a table. Avoid storing your items on places that bed bugs can gather, like a couch, chair, or the floor next to furniture.
- Change and launder your clothing as soon as you are home. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags. If you ride on public transit or fly, change and launder your travel clothes as soon as you get home.
You can avoid giving or getting the gift of bed bugs other the holidays by being alert and taking precautions. Bed bugs are a problem all year round, so it’s good to always be on the lookout and follow the above steps, even if it isn’t the holiday season.
When it comes to bed bugs or other pests, Delving Pest Control can protect your Northwest Ohio or Southeast Michigan home or business. Delving Pest Control can treat both recently discovered and prolonged bed bug infestations.
Delving Pest Control is the leading discreet bed bug exterminator in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Our vehicles are unmarked for your privacy. All you need is, a free inspection and strategy to help eliminate your out of control bed bug issues. Contact us today.