PLANNING A SUMMER VACATION….BEWARE!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants CA DRE #01147426

I recently came across an article given to me by my exterminator company. It was discussing BED BUGS!UGH! It went on to say that BED BUGS can hitch a ride on your luggage or bags during travel. They suggested emptying your suitcase in the garage when you got back home, then putting everything in the laundry and wash things on the HOT Cycle and drying in a HOT Dryer.

My first inkling was to toss the article away. But curiosity got to me so I decided to look up BED BUGS on the Internet. Here is what I discovered.

You should be an assertive detective. No, it doesn’t feel polite to go up to the desk and say you think your room might have bed bugs. But wouldn’t you rather do that than get bitten or, worse, bring them home? The bed bug situation, unfortunately, forces us to set squeamishness aside and talk about gross stuff. So, as soon as you get in your room (before opening your suitcase, even to take out your toothbrush!) inspect like crazy. Don’t just take the sheets off the bed, strip it down to the mattress. Look for the telltale black spots and darkish stains around the edges of the mattress.

You’re unlikely to see the bugs themselves, which are a clear color and tiny, the size of sesame seeds. But you can see their “leavings,” a disgusting combination of their shells and bits of blood from their human dinner. Check upholstered chairs, too. If you see anything at all, ask for another room, preferably on another floor. If you see anything suspicious in that room, try a completely different wing or, if possible, another hotel. This is really the primary bed bug prevention strategy available: check, look again, and leave if you see anything.

Travel Prepared. The last thing you want to do is arrive and start worrying about bed bugs. Take the worry out of travel by bringing protective supplies, including plastic bags to store your clothes in (those air-lock travel bags do double-duty by making extra room in your suitcase, as well as keeping bugs out.) Don’t be tempted to hang your clothes in hotel closets or leave them strewn over chairs, unless you’re 100-percent certain the room’s bug free; bed bugs are now known to favor upholstered furniture and yes, they can climb walls. Put your suitcase on a luggage rack and pull it out from the wall.

If you’re going to New York, Ohio, or anywhere else where bed bugs are known to be, well, practically everywhere, you can also bring a household remedy reputed to keep them at bay. (No guarantees here.) These include Vaseline, which some recommend using to coat the legs and rails of the bed so the bugs can’t climb up, and an herbal spray, Rest Easy, that promises to repel bed bugs. I travel with it and spray it around the edges of my suitcase and all over the luggage rack, just in case. Or you can take the extreme measure being recommended by some and bathe the bed rails, headboard, and the edges of the mattresses in a mixture of rubbing alcohol and floor cleaner. (Seriously, people recommend this but it smells so vile you’re probably better off staying home.) When I come home from a trip, I wash everything I’ve brought with me and dry it in a hot dryer and leave my suitcase stored in a plastic garbage bag for two weeks, also with “just in case” in mind.

There’s a lot more to say about bed bugs, but I’ve probably disgusted you enough for one day. Have you ever found bed bugs in your room or luggage? What did you do?

IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home in the Palm Desert Area, try searching properties on the same Desert Area MLS Realtor’s use, or give me a call….or visit my website at Palm Springs Homes and Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my “red carpet service.” After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificatetowards dinner in a fabulous Palm Springs Area Restaurant so you can celebrate!

Brought to You By Your Favorite Realtor,

Nancy Hankin

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Comments 13 New Comment

Rainmaker
648,801
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR

Nancy,

Ten years ago I managed several hotels and I can confirm that bedbugs are a HUGE and very prevalent problem throughout the world!!  Once they've set up residence in a hotel room, they're there to stay.  I learned ALL about bedbugs and various methods to get rid of them, but did you know that they can live for an entire YEAR without feeding on a human, and can live on computers, desks, and bedroom furniture?  I'm practically an expert on bedbugs and the only way to really get RID of them is to remove every single item from the hotel room from top to bottom:  including all the carpeting, furniture, mattresses of course, all bedding, built-ins, everything -- and throw it out.  Do you think many hotels will do that?  They won't.  They bring in a pest control company to spray everything down, but that won't kill them all!  Neither will bringing a spray.  The best place to find them is on the corner of the mattress .... look in the puckered area in the corners ... you'll see evidence of them.  Unless they've had a recent "meal" as you mentioned, you'll have a hard time seeing them.  But I've seen PLENTY of big, fat ones!!  Their bites cause horrible welts on your skin -- I've seen this from people who've been bitten.  I remember as a little girl my grandmother tucking me in for the night and saying "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" and I thought it was from a fairy tale.  Sadly, it's a very real and current problem in most metro areas.

May 06, 2012 09:51 PM
Ambassador
1,200,388
Praful Thakkar
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale
Keller Williams Realty

Nancy, yes, bed bugs are surely one of the major concern in some cities...though based on Greg's featured post...do we Realtors(r) every take a day off? (Even when we are on vacation?)

May 06, 2012 10:36 PM
Rainmaker
532,667
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens
ColumbiaGorgeFSBO.com

Ewwwww! Your post made me squirm a little. I've heard bed bugs are making a big come back so this is some good information on how to combat them.

May 07, 2012 03:42 PM
Rainmaker
122,388
Nancy Hankin
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants

Well....we all need to be very careful in planning our next vacation. First the terrorists, now the bed bugs. What's this world coming to!

May 07, 2012 09:01 PM
Rainmaker
122,388
Nancy Hankin
RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants

Well....all our problems are solved. I just came across a website that has dogs trained to find bed bugs! So the next time you plan a vacation, just hire one of these dogs to "snifff the joint out" ahead of time. To locate these amazing dogs, just go to: http://www.bedbugdogsforsale.com

 

May 11, 2012 06:20 PM
Rainmaker
122,388

Nancy Hankin

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