How do bed bugs get in your bed when you travel? I’m going on a school trip to Europe soon. I’m a little scared that I’ll get bed bugs. Is there a way to keep them away?
Sara, Twin Falls, ID
I’m glad you asked how do bed bugs get in your bed when you travel. It’s a question that’s on a lot of people’s minds. Let me begin by telling you that bed bugs aren’t necessarily dangerous. They are mostly a nuisance. But you’re smart to protect yourself against them because they can be tough to eliminate later.
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To begin with, bed bugs hide during the daytime. How do bed bugs travel? They prefer to sleep near their food source, which means you can look for them in the seams of your mattress, in the bed frame, and even in the cracks of the nightstand next to the bed.
Grab a flashlight and look for tiny brown spots or discarded translucent exoskeletons. Don’t unpack your bag until you’ve checked.
If you discover bed bugs or signs of bed bugs, if you’re in a hotel, immediately notify their staff and request a room change. Once you’re in a bug-free area, you can set up traps and use repellent to keep it that way during your stay.
First, place double-sided tape around the bottom of the legs of your bed. This prevents the bugs from climbing up to visit you during the night. Make sure you pull the mattress away from the wall if possible.
Does tea tree oil kill bed bugs? If applied directly to the insects, yes, it does kill them. However, you can also use tea tree or lavender mixed with eucalyptus and rosemary oils to repel bed bugs and keep them off of you if they are in the room.
Unless you have sensitive skin, apply lavender oil to your skin to help you sleep unmolested by pests and enjoy the pleasant, relaxing fragrance.
Finally, protect yourself by unpacking outside the house when you return home. Put everything to wash right away and dry things on high heat to kill eggs. If you seal your luggage in plastic, it can take up to a year to kill any remaining bed bugs. You can also package your clothing in bags and freeze them, as well, to kill existing bugs and eggs.
To sum up, I certainly hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip with no unwanted visitors along the way.