Don’t bring back bed bugs from your travels

The sight of bed bugs is enough to put a damper on your vacation but the bites can cause a variety of symptoms from secondary skin infections like impetigo and ecthyma to allergic reactions and in rare cases anaphylaxis which can impair breathing and require a trip to the ER.

With spring break coming up the experts at Consumer Reports share some tips to keep the bed bugs away during your next hotel stay. Some simple steps when you check in can help avoid hassles and expenses when you check out.

It might sound extreme, but to be safe, put your luggage in the bathroom as soon as you enter the hotel room. Bed bugs prefer anything dark and creviced that they can hide in like bedding, seams of fabric, furniture, even inside walls so the bathroom is usually a the safe zone while you search the room for signs of critters.

Check the sheets, mattress and box spring for any signs of bed bugs. Look for dark, rust colored spots and exoskeletons – the casings the bugs leave behind. Don’t forget to look at the head of the bed and in, around and behind the headboard, too.

Be sure to lift and check under the mattress, too. While this room was clear it’s important to take action if you do find anything suspicious. If you find any signs of bed bugs alert the manager immediately and ask for a new room in a different part of the hotel. Infestations can spread from wall to wall.”

Even if your room is clear Consumer Reports says it’s a good idea to keep your luggage and clothes on off the floor on a hard surface or luggage rack, clear of any potential bed bug zones. Consumer Reports says when you get home throw all of your clothes into a hot dryer for 30 minutes. And store your empty luggage in your basement, garage or a hot attic.

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