Don’t let the bedbugs bite. How to spot the pests, avoid bringing them home from your summer vacation

As people make plans to go away for the July 4th weekend, industry experts are warning travelers to keep an eye out for bed bugs.

As a potentially record number of Americans travel this summer, one expert warns that a very unwelcome pest is multiplying this season!

“We’re definitely seeing bedbugs spread again,” said entomologist Jeffrey White, owner of White Mantis Consultants. “Most experts will tell you they expect numbers to get back to where they were pre-COVID eventually.”

Bedbugs are not known to spread infectious diseases to humans, but the bites can cause severe skin reactions that itch.

So how do you spot these bugs and keep them from ruining your summer vacation?

White has these tips to spot a major infestation.

One, inspect the room: Check mattress seams, the headboard and the box spring for tiny-brownish-red stains or live bugs.

“No matter how expensive a hotel may be, you can potentially encounter bedbugs,” White said. “We’ve seen bedbugs in five star hotels that can cost more than $1,000 a night type stuff.”

Two, keep your luggage elevated.

Put it on a desk or bathroom counter to minimize the chances of bugs crawling into your belongings.

“Any time you can keep any personal belongings away from the bed, that’s always a good step,” White said.

Three, use plastic bags to store your dirty clothes and avoid bugs hitching a ride home.

Four, once you get home, isolate your luggage and inspect it.

Five, wash clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat.

“It’s all about what you do when you return home,” White said.

Another thing to consider, use hard-cased luggage. It is more difficult for bugs to attach to.

Also, do not spray insect repellant on your luggage. It is not effective against bedbugs and may pose a health hazard.

About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.