There have been overwhelming amounts of beg bugs infestations in hotels and homes in the last few years, especially in larger cities. Traveling to new assignments regularly unfortunately increases your chances of encountering bed bugs and possibly bringing them home. But don’t fret! There are precautionary steps to take to make sure this doesn’t happen.
What are they?
Bed bugs are flat and oval with a reddish brown hue. They are wingless bugs that range from 1 to 7 millimeters in size, very small. Even if you can’t initially spot them, you can see their fecal droppings on furniture that look like brown or black stains that resemble pepper flakes. They also leave behind translucent eggs that are often visible. Bed bugs like to feed on human blood, fun huh? Many people suffer from skin rashes, psychological effects and even allergic symptoms after being bitten.
Check for bed bug claims
If you are arranging housing through your travel nurse agency, speak to the housing specialist about bed bug concerns. Ask them for the address of the hotel/apartments they are considering placing you. Before they make your reservation concrete, go to bedbugregistery.com. Here you can search hotels and apartments that have had any claims of beg bug infestation. If they have had claims and the issue still says unresolved, it might be a good idea to ask your housing specialist for different housing.
Inspect your new hotel/ apartment
Even if you looked at the bed bug registry, it’s still a good idea to check for yourself. When you arrive at your new housing, don’t just start unpacking and throwing your stuff on the bed. Place your belongings in the bathroom tub or shower (Bed bugs have a harder time crawling up smoother services and are easier to spot against light colors).
Then, inspect. They like to hide themselves in cracks and crevices in all furniture and of course, the bed. Start with pulling back the covers of the bed and inspect under the linens and pillows. To be extra cautious, use a flash light. Look in all seams, under the mattress, the box spring and the headboard.
If you suspect infestation
If you do suspect a bed bug infestation, contact your travel agency’s housing department immediately. Do not try to handle it yourself. These guys don’t go away easily. If the hotel offers you to switch rooms, do not accept one directly adjacent, above or below the infested room. Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride to neighboring spaces via housekeeping, wall sockets and luggage.
If everything seems clear, prevent yourself from contracting an infestation from neighboring rooms by purchasing mattress covers specifically for bed bug prevention. You can buy these at many retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, Shopko, Sears, etc.