We humans love to travel and explore new destinations. Whether we are travelling for business or for pleasure, each of us likes to make the most of their trip. However, there is one more living being whose love for travelling is almost on the same level with that of humans- bed bugs. These tiny bloodsucking monsters depend on hopping on to our luggage and clothes to spread from one place to another and make our sleeping experience hellish.
Why Should you be Concerned?
Before going ahead, let us try to understand how exactly do these bed bugs affect our sleep health. As the name suggests these small reddish-brown oval creatures which can range between 1mm to 7mm in size, tend to stay and thrive inside our beds. They can commonly be found hidden inside electrical appliances, sockets, wall cracks, and in the seams of various furniture. Once the bedbugs manage to make their way to your homes they can quickly spread around your entire bedroom and may even infest other parts of your house. Exposure to bedbugs can give rise to several types of infections and allergic reactions that ultimately lead to stress accumulation and sleep deprivation.
How to Deal with Bed Bugs While Travelling?
#01 Spotting them
Some sure shot ways of identifying a bed bug infestation are to look for the trail marks that these insects leave behind in the form of egg shells, excreta, blood stains, etc. More often than not, you can spot such markings on your bed sheets, pillow covers, mattresses, etc. Luckily for us, InsideBedroom has carefully crafted a guide that takes us through the know how related to infestation of bed bugs and mattress maintenance in such instances.
Their bite marks are also quite distinct in their appearance and can be differentiated from those left by mosquitoes and fleas. The bites usually have a clear center with an itchy swelling around it. Small red welts in the form of a line or pattern of blisters can also indicate towards bed bug bites. Although they are somewhat difficult to spot with the naked eyes, tracking their musty smell may help you to locate them quicker.
#02 Before you Begin your Journey
Travellers often find themselves lacking the time, resources, and energy required to deal with a bed bug infestation. It is therefore important to be as cautious as possible to ensure that they have not managed to hitchhike on your dress or bags before you leave for the journey. Once you have physically scanned your stuff for their signs, remember to give them a thorough wash in the warmest possible temperature as bed bugs and their eggs have a hard time surviving beyond 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
#03 Book Wisely
Customer reviews generally mention if the hotel you are booking has experienced cases of bed bug infestations. Sometimes, even the cleanest looking places of all can have a potential infestation of bed bugs. Therefore, even if you have booked a stay that claims to be free of such pests, do a thorough check-up of the entire room before going ahead with the unpacking. Do not hesitate to call the hotel staff if you encounter a case of bed bugs so that you can duly be recompensated or provided an alternative accommodation which is bug-free. Remember to read check the area around your seats in public transports such as flights, trains, and buses for their presence so that you can avoid the risk of coming in contact with them.
#04 Carry these Essentials
If you are concerned about venturing into a place that may have bed bugs, it is considered wise to carry a number of useful items that may help in case you spot their presence. A portable vacuum cleaner can be very useful on such travels as it will do a great job at plucking out those nasty little creatures and also help get rid of other dust and allergic particles that may ruin your sleep. Remember to carry an iron device to press your clothes thoroughly so that any left-out bug can be eradicated completely. Soothing products such as calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream, or one antihistamine cream are some good over the counter medication that can provide relief against exposure to bed bug attack.
#05 Plastic Bags can be Life Saving
Carrying a bunch of airtight plastic bags (preferably with zippers) can indeed be a lifesaving idea. In case of a definite exposure to bed bugs, make sure that each set of exposed items such as towels, linens, electrical appliances, clothes, etc., have been put in a separate plastic bag so that the bugs do not get much space to spread out. Do not take out any of the zipped items from their covers after reaching home until they have been thoroughly cleaned and inspected for signs of bed bugs. Now that you are somewhat with how do bed bugs travel, remember that the bags that you choose for your trips should have the least number of hiding places or open ends for the free movement of these bugs. You should also prefer light-colored bags on such trips to easily detect their signs.
#06 Using Bed Bug Sprays
There are a number of commercially available sprays that claim to kill bed bugs which is why you will need to do a fair bit of research before investing in any such products. Some of these items may contain insecticides that may also be toxic for humans and may lead to complications like coughing, headache, eye irritation, rashes, dermatitis, etc. In any case, the use of such sprays should only be a last resort because of the increasing cases of environment degradation due to the toxic chemicals and insecticide resistance developed by the bed bugs.
A good sleeping experience and mental peace are paramount during travelling to resist fatigue and make the most of the trip. Not only can the bed bugs ruin your entire travelling experience but can also travel back with you at home to continue their onslaught. We hope that the above-mentioned tips for sleeping with bed bugs will help you to detect the tiny insects at the earliest possible and prevent any further spread.