When you travel does the thought of bed bugs or other hitchhiking pests scare you? Are you concerned that you might pick them up as you stay in hotels? For our family, this is a real concern because in any given month at least one of the adults and more than likely the whole family is staying in a hotel. I was invited to an event at Orkin’s headquarters (which are located right here in Atlanta) to learn more about bugs and how to keep these critters out of our homes. I went expecting to ask about my personal pest nemesis, the ant, but I learned so much more that I really will be practicing right away.
First, what the bed bug does and does not look like. Dr. Ron Harrison, Orkin Entomologist and Technical Services Director, was kind enough to show us up close and personal what a bed bug really looks like. Turns out they’re about the size of an apple seed as a mature adult and barely able to been seen as a baby.
Dr. Harrison guided us through the actual training facility that the Orkin team comes through for their training and he demonstrated what we should be looking out for as we travel and introduced the attendees to the SLEEP acronym to stay bed bug free.
Survey – Look around for signs of infestations on hotel bedding like dark brown or red spots.
Lift and Look – Bed bugs tend to stay close to the bed where they find their food. Inspect the mattress, box springs, sheets and even above the bed along picture frames and headboards.
Elevate – Keep your luggage off the floor and away from the bed to keep bed bugs from crawling inside.
Examine – Check all your luggage and clothing for bed bugs when you repack and once you’re home.
Place – Once you’re home, run all your clothes in a hot dryer for 15 – 20 minutes to get someone you might have missed. Dr. Harrison even said that keeping your suitcase in the car on a hot day would be helpful because it can kill any extra friends, if it gets hot enough.
We are diligent practicers of Place and usually don’t bring a suitcase directly into the house once we’ve been gone but I know going forward I’ll be using the other letters of SLEEP to make sure I get a good night’s sleep at home and away. To help you with getting a good night’s sleep, the Orkin family is sponsoring this giveaway of an Orkin Pillow Encasement that can help you make sure your pillow is clean and pest free. Just enter below with a comment of why you like Orkin. Good luck!
If you have questions about pests, I would recommend that you visit the Orkin library online right here. It has tons of information to help you learn more about your pest and how to make sure it’s gone!