How can people be avoid bed bugs when traveling?
One of the first things I do no matter where I go, is put is put my luggage into a bathtub where it's pretty secure. You can see that there are no bugs in there. The last thing you'd want to do is get bed bugs on your luggage and bring them home. I'd never would put my luggage on a bed even if I thought it was clean, just in case it wasn’t.
When you rent the room, the first thing I would do is check the mattresses. And by checking the mattresses, I don't mean just pick it up. You've got to look at the seams where you'll see evidence, and you look thoroughly there. If there is anything that looks like an apple seed or if you see little tiny ink dots, which is actually the feces of the bug, then I would get another room.
Even if they say it's been cleared, it's been sterilized- if I've seen something, I’m going to be on the safe side. I'm just going to go get another room. You can also check out YouTube on how to look for bedbugs. So, check all your cracks, your crevices, check your bed rim, but mainly check your mattress.
If it doesn't have a mattress cover on it for bedbugs, then I would definitely check your mattresses. If you see a mattress cover for bedbugs, it's not because the room has bedbugs, it's because that hotel wants to make sure that mattress can't contain bedbugs, which is actually a safer avenue. I feel more comfortable when I walk into a room seeing that it's well maintained. If I see a monitor in a room, it's not because I believe the room has bedbugs. That is there so people can actually see when they're cleaning staff there if that room has been affected, so they won't rent that room to somebody else if they've caught a bedbug.
What does a bedbug mattress cover look like?
There's a great company out there called Mattress Safe. I highly recommend their bedbug covers, because they make one of the most durable bedbug covers. Basically, it’s a sheet with a zipper system on it. When put it around the beds, or the mattress, it will keep the bedbugs from getting into that mattress and staying. So instead of them throwing away all the time, they can see very quickly if the bedbugs are there, and keep them out of the beds.
If they have mattresses with coasters underneath the bed, you're pretty well in a safe environment. Because now you've got it so they can't spread off the floors. If they don't have something that the bed sits on that would stop the bedbugs dead in their tracks from spreading from somebody's luggage or from another room, or from falling off their clothes on to the floor, then there's more of a likely chance that could contain a bed bug in that mattress, even with a mattress cover. But the mattress covers basically take a lot of the hiding places away for the bedbugs.
Most people don't know they have bedbugs until they've been bitten.
So how would you know if you did have bed bugs?
Well, first of all, most people don't know they have bedbugs until they've been bitten. But when they bite, bed bugs normally will bite at night time. You’ll have around three spots and they're normally pretty well in a row if you're in a low infested area. If you're in a high infestation, you're probably going to find the bedbug. There'll be lots of them all over the place. But, if it's just random, let's say you've got maybe a dozen bedbugs, you may not notice them. A very trained eye may not notice them. Even sometimes dogs that are out there that are not properly trained won't notice that they have the bedbugs either when they're a very, very low volume. A high volume it's for a professional and a dog groups that come out there and check your rooms.
A good properly trained dog will sense out a bedbug colony very quickly. But one or two bedbugs, they may not. Because they're looking for volume of bedbugs, they're not looking for one or two that came off of a bed. They may or may not be able to identify that they're there at that time when they go through. But I would suggest that again, the coasters like our coasters, are put underneath your beds. You could put them in between the mattresses as well as on the sides and people aren't going to notice them. Bed bugs are looking for a crack and a crevice,to hide in. So when they go in there to hide after they've had a blood meal, they'll get stuck there. When you've been bitten, you're going to find that you have little red dots. I've been bit before and they're very itchy, at least for me.
Now some people don't react the same. Some people will swell up very drastically. And some people won't have any reaction whatsoever. Those people are at more risk of getting an infestation, because they won't know that they're actually been a blood meal. We are their food source and so are our pets. People don't realize it. That everybody protects themselves, but they're not protecting their pets properly. So if you're in an area, you can easily get a pet bed monitor, what we call under the pet bed. And if you're not in your house all the time, the bugs will go there while your pets sleep, trying to get to your pets. And so you can check that monitor very quickly. And it's very easy to look in and see that, "Oh, I’ve got bedbugs in my pet bed. I can assume I have them throughout my house.” And so that's a very easy way to check as well.