Are you traveling this season? Have you booked your flights? Are you staying with family or in a hotel? Have you checked off your whole shopping list? Are you shopping online or in store? Are you mailing gifts or carrying with you? While trying to answer these questions and take care of your travel plans, I felt it was necessary to discuss some tips to keep your stockings filled with gifts and not bedbugs.
To start, with all that we have on our minds during the holiday travel season we forget that so many retailers and online websites are still dealing with bedbug infestations. On the one hand, you have a high turnover of shoppers entering big box retailers. On the other are massive online shopping warehouses where gifts are delivered straight to your front doors. Both options could potentially create bedbug infestations.
So how do we receive online and offline purchases, rent automobiles and travel without infesting our homes or travel destinations this holiday season? Staying educated is the key to staying bedbug free. Below are a few points to keep in mind before you get started:
• Prior to booking your hotel stay, check any bedbug hotel registries to see if your hotel has been infested at any point within that last couple of weeks.
• Before leaving for your flight, make sure to spray your luggage inside and out. Always remember to follow the directions as per the label.
• When traveling by automobile, place all gifts within a garbage bag or lid tight bin and in the trunk if possible. Also, inspect and spray your rental with a barrier treatment as seen here.
• Once you arrive, conduct a thorough inspection of your hotel rooms.
• Pay attention to any red or black marks on sheets and fabrics as this is the No. 1 sign of bedbugs.
• Keep all luggage and carry-on bags off the floors, beds and out of closets. The safest spots are a table or desk. If you have a garment bag place it over the door and keep it zipped when not needed.
• After a full inspection spray all areas with a certified bedbug spray, including chairs, beds, molding, etc.
• For a safe and bedbug-free return home, place all clothes in plastic bags to shift right to the washer once home.
• Pick an area within your home where you can inspect all delivered packages. Discard boxes and travel wrapping in a garbage bag here.
Although I recommend staying educated and informed about bedbugs, don't subscribe to the "panic" that has got everyone itching for no reason. It's very important to enjoy your life and the many things we look forward to during this holiday season. I leave you with safe travels, safe shopping and most importantly, a happy and a healthy bedbug-free holiday season!
If you find yourself forgetting any of these tips, take a look at the infotoon below to help jog your memory while traveling this holiday season.
Michael Colongione is a spokesperson for Pronto Plus, manufactured by Insight Pharmaceuticals. The advice and opinions he expresses in this article are his own.
As always, we're always here to help, so please feel free to contact me on Twitter.com/GotchaBedbugs or Facebook.com/GotchaBedBugInspectors.
(Click to enlarge.)