The holiday season is just around the corner. Yes, it’s the time when everyone is planning a get-together with friends and family, create memories, laugh and eat. Some may have already started preparing for the holiday festivities by planning the commute to see family, booking hotels, renting Airbnb’s, preparing beds for your children coming home from college, and many more scenarios.
What about Bed Bugs?
Obviously, bed bugs are the very last thing you want to think about over the holidays, but with friends and family coming over and spending the night or even a couple of days with you, wouldn’t it increase the chance of contracting bed bugs in your home? Unfortunately, bed bugs may find your home comfortable and may settle in without your knowledge.
It may not be your priority during the holidays, but remember that bed bugs are expert hitchhikers and can latch onto anyone they choose. It is not uncommon to hear of cases where bed bugs are found in planes, buses and subways. If you are staying in a hotel while visiting family, do your inspection of the room.
Learn how to identify bed bugs here.
Regardless if the place is clean or not, bed bugs don’t discriminate. They can live anywhere as long as it gives them the environment they need to hide and feed.
Remember that there are certain areas prone to hosting these pests, especially student dorms, multi-unit residential buildings, low-cost housing communities and big cities.
For example, if you have a friend or relative living in an apartment in downtown Toronto, they could potentially be a victim of bed bugs and if this person is visiting over the holidays, they could bring bed bugs into your home, putting you at risk for contracting them. The opposite could also happen - you visiting someone who could potentially have bed bugs and you bringing them back into your home.
Find out which Canadian cities have the worst bed bug problems here.
It is also important to remember that some people do not react to bed bug bites and therefore might not know they have bed bugs.
How Do You Prevent Bed Bugs from Settling in Your Home during the Holidays?
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to get rid of, so proper prevention and protection can go a long way.
Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself against bed bugs and detect them sooner than later.
If you are hosting, protect your mattress!
First, you will want to protect your mattress, box spring and pillows. With family and friends over for the holidays, there is a good chance that some will be staying overnight for a couple of days. If they happen to bring bed bugs with them, you will want to make sure your mattress is protected. There are two main reasons why you will want to protect your mattress:
- To prevent bed bugs from nesting inside your mattress, box spring or pillow
- To make bed bug inspection easier instead of looking in every crack, crevice and fold
Another way to make it easy for you to detect their presence is by using white sheets instead of coloured ones. Why you might ask? While feeding at night, bed bugs tend to leave some blood stains on the sheets after a blood meal. With a white sheet, you can easily spot blood stains and confirm the presence of these pests.
If you would like to read more on why bed bug mattress encasements are important, have a look at our blog post.
In any case, if you are planning to invite guests and they stay the night - whether it’s for one night or multiple nights - it is a good idea to protect your beds by using bed bug-proof mattress covers, box spring covers, and pillow cases. At bedbugsos.ca we carry top of the line bed bug proof encasements against available in the market, so rest assured the job is done right the first time.
Use bed bug detectors
When it comes to bed bugs, the earlier you detect their presence, the easier and faster the treatment process will be. Early detection prevents bed bugs from reaching a rate of reproduction that becomes uncontrollable and allows you to react as soon as possible.
One way of identifying bed bugs is through a visual inspection. Take a look at our bed bug identification page for more information.
Another way to detect bed bugs is to use bed bug detectors. If you are hosting, you’ll want to get detectors before your guests arrive. If you are travelling, you’ll want to get detectors for your return home. Here are a few we suggest:
One of the products that you can use is the bed bug surge protector, as it doesn’t only actively use heat and lure to attract bed bugs, but it also functions as a power bar. You can use it discreetly, even while guests are in your home. It comes with replaceable glue trays that provide 90 days of active detection. You can also get refills to continue using the product for a longer period of time. As well, you can add the CO2 generator for an even more efficient trap.
Other products you can use to effectively and discreetly trap bed bugs are the SenSci Activ and SenSci Volcano. Using these together makes them a powerful bed bug detection tool. Developed by experts at Bed Bug Central, the SenSci Volcano is a passive bed bug trap that encourages bed bugs to climb up the outer surface and fall into the “Volcano” hole. As you add the SenSci Activ, this passive trap can turn into an active trap. The contents inside replicate the pheromones released by a sleeping human body, so it attracts bed bugs to climb up and fall into the trap.
Disposable bed bug traps are passive bed bug traps, meaning they do not emit any CO2 or lure the bugs with pheromones, but provide a safe place for bed bugs to nest. You can place them between your box spring and mattress or between the bed frame and mattress. As bed bugs look to install themselves in the traps, they’ll get stuck on the glue trap. These come in packs of four so you can put one on every corner of the bed.
Considering the headache that can be caused by bed bugs, these are relatively low-cost solutions for your peace of mind.
With these tips in mind, rest assured that when inviting friends and relatives over the holiday season or when travelling, you will have the knowledge and tools to detect and prevent a bed bug infestation. We are available to help at any time, just send us a quick email or call us for more information.
Happy holidays and be safe!