With the holiday season upon us, many of us eagerly plan trips and/or vacations to spend quality time with loved ones or explore new destinations; however, amidst all the excitement, it’s crucial not to forget about a potential unwanted hitchhiking companion, pests. Most people don’t realize, or think about the fact, that these pesky critters can easily sneak into your luggage and hitch a ride back home with you. We are going to review some tips for how to prevent hitchhiking pests in your luggage this holiday season, to ensure you don’t have any more guests than you intended throughout this time of celebration.
How to Prevent Hitchhiking Pests in Your Luggage this Holiday Season
While the last thing on your mind over the holiday season is likely the pests that could be lurking and ready to enter your home, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) says that homeowners should watch for pests that could stealthily hitch a ride into your holiday plans. Pests, just like us, love adventures, and will go anywhere where there is food, water, and shelter, and as most of us know, during the holidays, there is no shortage of all of those things.
We are going to review some tips for how to prevent hitchhiking pests in your luggage this holiday season.
- Check Your Luggage Before Traveling: Before you start packing for your holiday adventures, inspect your luggage thoroughly. Look for any damages, cracks, or holes that pests could use as entry points. Repair or replace damaged luggage to minimize the chances of pests finding a way in.
- Keep Luggage Clean: Pests are attracted to food residues, sweet smells, and spills. Before packing, make sure your luggage is clean and free from any food particles. Wipe down the interior and exterior surfaces to eliminate any potential food sources.
- Inspect the Space Before Unpacking: Keep your eyes peeled for signs of bed bugs or other pests. Before unpacking and taking up residence, check cracks, crevices, and folds of material in the bedding. You should also check mattress seams, carpet edges, and the undersides of sofas and other furniture cushions. If things look questionable, don’t unpack and arrange another place to stay.
- Use Plastic Bags to Transport Clothing: Clean or dirty, you should keep your clothes and belongings in sealed plastic bags or packing cubes. This added layer of protection creates a barrier that pests will find difficult to penetrate. When you get home, take items straight to the laundry, in the bags.
- Inspect Purchases Before Introducing Them to Your Belongings: Whether you are purchasing something new or receiving a gift, be vigilant. Inspect all items carefully for any signs of pests before packing them in your luggage.
- Never Keep Your Luggage on the Ground: Avoid placing your luggage directly on the ground during your trip. Use luggage stands or racks to keep your bags elevated, reducing the risk of pests crawling inside. If these items aren’t available, place your belongings in the bathtub or other area that is not furniture or carpet.
- Do Laundry and Vacuum Luggage as Soon as you Get Home: As mentioned above, you should 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. Wash your clothes and vacuum your luggage thoroughly. Pay special attention to seams, pockets, and crevices where pests might hide.
By following the above tips for preventing hitchhiking pest in your luggage this holiday season, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of pests hitching a ride home with you. A little bit of awareness and preparation can go a long way in ensuring a pest free experience both during and after your travels.