Travel Guide To Bed Bugs

Whether you're thinking about staying somewhere here in Hawaii for a nice night away with your spouse or you're planning to go somewhere far away, it is a good idea to brush up on bed bug prevention. Those little blood eaters are showing up everywhere. They're in all 50 states. Even Alaska! Hopefully, this travel guide will make things a little bit easier for you.

Know Where You Can Get Bed Bugs

We are all aware that bed bugs can hitch a ride back with us when we stay the night somewhere, but there are many places you can get bed bugs while on vacation besides the room you're staying in. Here are a few places to look:
  • Cabs. When you get into a cab, you should know that bed bugs have been found infesting the upholstered seats in the back of taxi cabs.
  • Buses, trains, and planes. If it has an upholstered seat, bed bugs can establish themselves. These bugs don't have to wait till humans are sleeping in order to feed. They can feed on us when we're fully away.
  • Public venues. If there is a couch, and a little bit of darkness, there could be bed bugs.
  • Movie theaters. Are you thinking about taking in a nice movie while you're on vacation, be sure to use the light on your phone to do a quick check of the seats.
bed bug on persons arm

What To Look For

An inspection of your room is a great way to protect yourself from unwanted bites and, also, from allowing these pests to come home with you, but these search tips can help you find bugs in any of the places listed above.
  • Look for black patches, black streaks, or tiny black droppings. Bed bugs leave their excrement everywhere. These will be in the seams of mattresses, on box springs, backboards, baseboards, wall outlets, upholstered furniture, and electronics. They may also be on sheets and pillow cases.
  • Look for brown staining. Bed bugs dribble blood after they have fed. This will create blood staining in areas of infestation.
  • Look for insect skins. Bed bugs go through 5 development stages called instars. Between each instar, they shed their cuticle (skin). These shed cuticles can be anywhere bed bugs travel, feed, or live.
  • Smell for them. If there are enough bed bugs infesting a location, there can be a noticeable smell. Bed bugs use a pheromone scent to communicate with each other. This scent can be described as a dirty, wet, locker room towel.
  • Look for bugs. This may seem silly but properly identifying bed bugs is important. If you're out and about and you see a bed bug crawling on your arm, proper identification could prevent you from bringing it home to your room and home to your house. Bed bug babies measure about 1 mm in length with a whitish coloring. This whitish color becomes tan and then rust-colored as the bed bug develops. In all instars, bed bugs have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. If they are filled with blood, you will be able to see it through their slightly transparent abdomen. This filled blood look is more prominent for immature nymphs in the first stages of development.
  • Look for bites. Knowing what bed bug bites look like could protect you on your vacation. Not when they appear on you, your spouse, or your kids, but when you see them on other people. These bites can warn you of a threat. Bites from bed bugs look different depending on many factors, including skin type, age of the bug that bit, how long the victim was exposed, etc. Adult bed bugs leave red welts that often have a rash associated with them. These bites will also appear in a line or cluster. Often a bed bug will feed three times in a row. Look for this pattern.

What To Do If You Bring Bed Bugs Home

Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions serves Hawaii with the most advanced bed bug protocols available in the industry. We can help you monitor for bed bugs and figure out how bad your infestation is or provide eco-friendly options for an effective extermination of these pests. We deal with bed bug issues from egg to adult. For more information, or to schedule service, reach out to us today for immediate assistance.