How to Prevent Pests Coming Home From Vacation With You
Everyone needs a little break every now and then. Omaha is pretty great, but it’s not the Caribbean, that’s for sure. However, while vacations are fun, you need to be careful. While you may come home with an extra suitcase full of souvenirs, you may also come home with a few hitchhikers in that suitcase as well.
One of the biggest ways that people get bed bugs and sometimes other pests is from travel. The pests cling on to their clothes or sneak into their suitcase and just a few bugs are enough to breed an infestation in your home quickly. Luckily, there are a lot of great tips to help prevent pests from sneaking into your luggage and getting a free ride into your home.
How to Keep Pests Out of Luggage While on Vacation
- Choose Pest-Resistant Luggage – Whenever possible, be sure to choose luggage that will resist pest invasions. This can mean easily washable luggage like a duffle bag that you can toss in the washer with all your clothes as soon as you get home to hard-shelled suitcases that, when closed, mean no pest can get in.
- Inspect Your Room Before You Settle In – If you choose budget hotels, they may skip things like proper pest control. In some cases, it will still be okay, but you might want to go to your room. Check areas around plumbing for small dirt specks and check for insects like cockroaches. Look over the sheets and under the mattress for bed bugs, and keep an eye open for small brown specks that jump just out of sight which signal fleas. If you don’t see them, they could still be there, but if you can spot signs or the insect itself quickly after entering the room, there is likely a huge infestation that you won’t be able to avoid bringing with you.
- Keep Suitcases Sealed – After you extract your toiletries and your clothes for the day, be sure to keep your suitcase sealed as much as possible. Leaving your suitcase open when you leave your hotel room is an open invitation to pests with wanderlust.
- Clean Up – You may be on vacation, but you probably shouldn’t leave your dirty laundry lying on the floor. The longer it sits there, the more pests might come to check it out. Then once you have to pack up, some of those pests will probably be coming home with you.
- Toss the Cardboard – If you keep any cardboard boxes in your room and plan to put them in your suitcase – don’t. Many bugs love to live, love, and lay eggs in corrugated cardboard. Remove the items, if possible, to pack them and leave the cardboard.
- Wash Your Clothes – After you get home, unpack your luggage outside your home (like in the trunk of your car). Place your clothes in a plastic bag and transport them to your washer. You should then wash your clothes in very hot water and dry them on the hottest setting. This will kill all common insect hitchhikers.
- Bag Your Luggage – As for luggage that cannot be washed or clothes that will shrink in hot water, you can seal both up in a plastic bag. You will have to leave it sealed (and outside your home) for a few weeks, but it will kill the bugs. The bag will need to be sealed tightly as this method kills insects and any potential offspring through a lack of oxygen.
Have you returned to Omaha from your vacation only to discover that a few stowaways have set up a new insect metropolis in your home? Contact us today to let Miller Pest & Termite take care of your infestation quickly before it gets any worse.