The holidays are about gathering with your loved ones, sharing cozy moments, eating far more than you should, and creating memories with your family. There is always emphasis on not spending the holidays alone and, unfortunately, bed bugs feel the same way. It is never a good time to talk about bed bugs and bed bugs removal, but the holidays are the perfect time for bed bugs to spread and make many people their new victims.
Majority of people spend the holidays with their distant family or gathering at a local family member’s home to share a good meal and laughter. With more people coming together from several different locations into one spot means an increase risk of spreading bed bugs.
It is Thanksgiving and the whole family is getting together to watch football, play games, and of course, enjoy the food on the table. This means that your Great Aunt Sue, who may have been picked up from the local senior home, will be joining. Little did anyone in the family know that the senior home recently has been infested with bed bugs. One of the bed bugs favorite hiding spots, her purse, is now so innocently sitting on Uncle Joe’s couch, where Grandma Ann is resting. So now, Great Aunt Sue has bed bugs, Uncle Joe has them, and now Grandma Ann, and anyone else who sat on the couch is at risk for.
Prevention Tip: If you have family members that you believe are exposed to bed bugs, take the follow precautionary steps:
- Keep an extra set of clothing in your car or in a sealed bag
- After you leave, spray your shoes with 90% rubbing alcohol
- Then change into your extra set of clothing and put all exposed clothing into the bag
- Put the bag of clothing into the dryer on extra hot for several hours
- Then put clothing in the washer with hot water
In order to get to family gatherings and vacations away for the holidays, many people will have to travel long distances and use hotels and motels during their stay. We know that hotels are hubs for bed bugs, so always keep an eye out, but many people choose to fly or take public transit to their desired locations. Of course you know that the more people that are gathered in close range coming from many different locations will lead to an increasing risk of bed bed exposure. But one thing to note with public transit, is that it is constantly rotating with different people.
So if you hop on the bus at 6pm to go to dinner, there was most likely a different person every half hour in that seat, meaning there would be approximately 6-12 people that sat in the same seat you are. This is all assuming they vacuum the seats at the end of each day. Same concept for planes, except less rotation. There were probably only a couple (or one) person before you, but the exposure is much longer, giving bed bugs a longer time frame to travel from person to person.
Prevention Tip: Always inspect the corners of your hotel/motel mattress and furniture before placing any of your belongings on them. You can even place your items in the bathtub while you inspect.
If you are traveling on public transit, follow the prevention steps given in the “Family Gatherings” section.
If you are sitting under a roof reading this article, whether it be an office, home, or even in car then you have something to be thankful for. Some people do not have this luxury and seek communal locations to get out of the cold. Many choose to help and volunteer at locations where those less fortunate seek shelter. Homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other locations of this nature are constantly rotating with people and many of its inhabitants cannot afford bed bug extermination, therefore, they continue to spread them along their tracks.
Prevention Tip: Don’t place your belongings on any furniture that can hide bed bugs, such as couches, mattresses, and other fabric furniture. You can safely place your items on metal, concrete, or plastic. Dry all clothing and items on high heat after leaving. Follow the steps given in the “Family Gatherings” section.
We at Bed Bug BBQ are thankful for our family, team members, and those we have met during our work. We are continuing to spread knowledge, awareness, and prevention to help our community and minimize the spread of bed bugs. But if you or a family member is in need of bed bug removal, call us today for a FREE inspection: (216) 232-2762.
And may your new year be bed bug free.