Summer travel season is quickly approaching and families across the country are finalizing vacation plans and getting ready to pack their bags. This season, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is reminding travelers to brush up on bed bug basics to help avoid bringing these biting pests home. During Bed Bug Awareness Week, June 5-11, 2016, the NPMA, in partnership with the pest control industry, will work to spread public awareness of bed bugs.
In recent years, bed bugs have become a growing pest control concern as their populations have continued to rise. The 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, found that 99.6 percent of pest control companies treated for bed bugs in the past year.
“Understandably, the rise in bed bug populations in recent years has many people concerned,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs at NPMA. “Bed bugs are equal opportunity pests and are found in five star hotels, summer camps, dormitories— anywhere there is a steady source of a blood meal, and no one wants to bring them home. That said, people may unknowingly transport bed bugs more so during the summer months when vacation travel activity is at its peak.”
To help avoid bed bugs, NPMA recommends the following prevention tips:
- Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
- Check your sheets for telltale blood spots.
- Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
- Carry a small flashlight to assist you with visual inspections.
- Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of bed bugs. Consider having a pest control professional inspect the furniture as it is difficult to detect an infestation without training.
- Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
- Seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation.
For more information, visit PestWorld.org.