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Rose Pest Solutions encourages public awareness during Bed Bug Awareness Week

Tips for staying bed bug free this season

Since making a resurgence several years ago, bed bugs have proven to be a difficult and hard to treat pest, infesting homes and hotels, retail locations and even places of employment. Although a year-round concern, experts from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) want people to be on high alert prior to heading into the busy spring and summer travel season, declaring this week as Bed Bug Awareness Week.  In recognition of the observance, Rose Pest Solutions Chicago is advising people in Chicagoland to be extra vigilant to help curb the spread of this blood-sucking pest.

bed bug wordle

“Spring and Summer are prime seasons for bed bug infestations because travel increases and people are more likely to pick up bed bugs during transit between locations,” said Jeff Beallis, Rose’s Lombard Branch Manager and President of the Greater Chicago Pest Management Alliance. “We encourage all travelers, from college students coming home for break to families going on vacation, to keep a close eye out for bed bugs looking for a ride home in suitcases.”

photo of two bed bugs

Travel Intelligently

Public vigilance can start with careful inspections upon check in at lodging accommodations. According to new research in 2013 by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, 100 percent of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered infestations of bed bugs in hotels and motels in the past year. Hotels are taking a proactive stance on protecting their establishments from bed bugs with strict protocols that include routine inspections, but guests also play an important role in bringing bed bugs to management’s attention and to help limit the spread of bed bugs to other locations.

Bed bugs Chicago

Avoid bringing them home with these tips.

To prevent an unwanted encounter with bed bugs this summer, Rose Pest Solutions Chicagoland shares the following prevention tips for travelers:

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams and box springs for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
    check under mattress seam for bed bugs
  • Bed bugs don’t just live in beds. They will hide out in crevices within a close proximity to where they know they can feed. The image below demonstrates places to look for them.
    places in room where bed bugs may be
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds. You can put them in the bathtub if you don’t have a large plastic bag.
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
    bed bugs on backpack
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting
    hotel plastic bag

Bed bugs in college dorms

Does your kid’s dorm room look like this?

messy dorm room

If it does, then understand that the risk of them getting bed bugs in college dorms and transporting them back home this spring is more likely than if they were tidy. Bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking on items. That’s how they get from one place to another. When things are strewn throughout the small room, there are more hiding places for the bugs to stake out. Colleges all over the country have faced increases in bed bug infestations due to frequent travelling, moving in and out, and an overall lack of awareness of the issue. Disorganization and untidyness only makes the risk worse.

As your kid finishes finals and begins to pack up to head home in the next month or so, carefully inspect ALL items coming back into your home. Launder anything you can in hot water and dry in a hot dryer, just like the instructions above for travel. The same rules apply. And for future purposes, here are some tips for when they get ready to return to the dorms after the summer.

bed bugs in college dorms

Bed Bug Fumigation

If you just don’t feel comfortable enough with your own inspection of items coming back home either from vacation or from your child’s college dorm, there’s an option to fumigate these items to be on the safe side and give you peace of mind. Rose Pest Solutions has a fumigation container at O’Hare airport that you can put your furniture, luggage, or other belongings into to have fumigated. This process safely eliminates any pests that may be in these items within our container without harming the items. It’s more affordable than you might think too!

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