When I was growing up as a child in the Philippines we used to travel a lot, sleep in different hotels, houses, seminaries (as my cousin was a missionary priest) and sometimes we would end up having red bites all over mostly on our arms and legs. Back then, I did not really care about the bites and would tell my mom and aunt that I had been bitten by mosquitoes (It was really the only insect I knew that bites oh… & red ants too, OUCH!).

I do remember that whenever we would go back home, my parents would tell us to put everything in the laundry basket because we may be carrying insects with us… I always thought that was weird until I grew up and understood what & why they were telling us this. UNTIL one did we did bring back insects with us!

One time I couldn’t sleep as I was getting bites all the time, this went on for days and when I looked at my pillow I saw this tiny brownish insect. I looked through the whole bed and then I saw a bunch more of them in the sides of my stuffed toy pillow and in the mattress. I called my mom to show her and we found them everywhere in my bed including the headboards. It’s was so disgusting, irritating and scary. I have never let anyone sleep in my bed and yet here I was, my space, my bed silently being invaded by these uninvited bedbugs.

So, I do understand on a personal level when I take calls from customers who call us for bedbug issues. Especially with travelers in panic mode over the possibility that he/she was in contact with bed bugs.

Sydney’s best pest control offers personal customer and provides our customers with the information and guidance to help resolve the bedbug issue in a timely manner.

Bedbugs are nocturnal, they are an opportunist, they attack at night when we least expect it while we are sleeping. A bedbugs peak feeding time is usually between 2 – 5 am and they are attracted to warmth, blood and the carbon dioxide we breathe out.

Bedbugs like to travel and are good hitchhikers, they will often hide in suitcases, boxes, and shoes to be near a food supply.

They are elusive, they hide behind baseboards and in cracks, crevices, and folded areas of beds, bedding and adjacent furniture, especially mattresses and box springs just waiting for you to fall asleep

Bed bugs can also be spread via human contact.  When a person goes to a hotel room that has bed bugs, and the bed bugs hide out on the persons clothing or on the person’s luggage, and the bed bugs can then be spread to new locations.

It is due to these reasons that NO house is safe from a bed bug infestation.

Since I have leveled up (The office girls term for getting older… but hey…age is wisdom, right?) I have learned some tips that you can consider when traveling

  1. Pack all of your items in tightly sealed, clear plastic bags.

I use ziplock bags – just make sure you actually seal them correctly.  If you are worried about bed bugs in your books, put them inside a ziplock plastic bag and freeze them for at least 4 days after you return… I know it might sound funny, but it is better than having to buy a new one

2. Inspect any room where you will be staying for the presence of bed bugs with the use of a flashlight

3. In hotel rooms, use luggage racks to hold your luggage when packing or unpacking rather than setting your luggage on the bed or floor. Try to keep luggage away from the bed as much as possible

4. Keep your belongings stowed separately from those of other people.

5. Be vigilant in areas where bed bugs are most likely to be found, which include break rooms, storage areas (coat closets or cubbies), offices or lounges with upholstered furniture, or areas where people may rest

6. Inform management and facility staff if you found any bedbugs or if you have been bitten just so they would know and would be able to apply control measures or treatment.  Request that you be transferred to another room. (they might give it to you free of charge or with a 50% discount- who knows!

7. Upon returning home, unpack directly into a washing machine and inspect your luggage carefully. Remember that time in a dryer at high temperatures kills the bed bugs (just washing will generally not kill bed bugs)

8. Store suitcases away from your bedrooms, such as in the basement or garage. Place it in a large plastic bag and tape tightly shut.  Never store suitcases under your bed. Or you would want to have it washed or vacuumed immediately and then seal.

The longer you keep the case in plastic, the fewer young bed bugs will survive. Even if eggs hatch, the young must feed within a few weeks or they will die.

If you feel you have carried bedbugs back to your home, treat the problem as soon as possible. Bed bugs can rapidly multiply, causing a more difficult and costly problem to eradicate. We recommend seriously considering an experienced exterminator as even professionals find these insects difficult to eliminate.

If you are being bitten but are not sure if there are bedbugs or you have an active bedbug infestation Call Sydneys Best Pest Control on 1800 819 189 for free advice and guidance.

Traveling is fun and adventurous for us all…. but for bedbugs it’s fun on a darker side… new tasty feeding prospects are just around the corner.

Be vigilant while you enjoy your travels.