How Do You Check for Bed Bugs at Your Vacation Rental or Hotel?

Bed bug in hotel bed in Albuquerque | Pest Defense Solutions

When you’re caught up in the excitement of a vacation, bed bugs are probably the last thing on your mind. However, these tiny pests are notorious for hiding out in places like hotels and public transit centers. If you aren’t careful, you may end up accidentally carrying them home with you! To protect yourself, it’s important to know how to check for bed bugs at your vacation rental or hotel. Read on to learn the best ways to avoid these pests while traveling. 

How to Prevent Bed Bugs While Traveling

Bed bugs commonly spread through public spaces, often hitching a ride on our clothing or luggage. So, the longer you spend in an airport or on a bus, the higher your risk of picking up bed bugs. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to avoid bed bugs while traveling:

  • Carefully read reviews: Before choosing a hotel or bus line, read reviews from previous travelers. If they mention bed bugs, try finding alternative options. 
  • Protect your luggage: Since bed bugs like to hide in cloth, soft luggage is more likely to be targeted by these pests. Switch to a hard-back suitcase and seal your clothing in plastic bags that they won’t be able to penetrate. 
  • After getting home, keep your luggage outside: Until you’ve been able to carefully inspect your suitcase, avoid bringing it indoors. That way, if any insects have attached to your belongings, they won’t have access to your entire home. 
  • Wash your clothes on high heat: High heat kills bed bugs and their eggs. Even if you haven’t worn all of your clothes, immediately wash them on high heat after returning home.
  • Consult a professional if you think you have bed bugs: Nobody wants to wake up covered in bites. If you’ve recently traveled and think you have bed bugs, call a professional to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Signs of Bed Bugs in a Hotel

After a long day of travel, you may be tempted to just drop your luggage and start relaxing after arriving at your hotel room. However, doing so puts you at a bigger risk of unknowingly running into bed bugs. Knowing how to check for bed bugs in your airbnb or vacation rental is crucial to avoiding an unpleasant experience. Here are some of the most common signs that your hotel room is infested:

  • Rusty bloodstains on the mattress, sheets, or pillowcases
  • Brownish streaks on the headboard or in the closet
  • Distinctive musty or sweet-smelling odor
  • Light-yellow bed bug eggs, usually found near the headboard
  • Shed exoskeletons, which are often very small and pale in color
  • Live bed bugs or waking up with bite marks

When looking for bed bugs, be sure to check in any upholstered areas. Look at the headboard, carpeting, closet, and luggage rack. Consider using a flashlight so you can pick up on small signs that are easily overlooked. If you think your room has an infestation, ask for a different room or seek other accommodations. 

Worried You Have Bed Bugs?

If you’ve just gotten back from a vacation and are worried you now have bed bugs, reach out to the experts at Pest Defense Solutions. Dealing with an infestation on your own can feel impossible, but our team has the tools and experience needed to eradicate the bed bugs as quickly as possible. For over 15 years, we’ve proudly helped homeowners throughout El Paso keep their homes pest-free*. Call us now to say goodbye to bed bugs for good. 

Early Signs of Bed Bug Infestation

A crack in a bed frame with a bed bug infestation.

The warm weather of New Mexico makes it a haven for insects year-round. While there are steps you can take to stop pests from taking over outside your home, preventing bed bugs is a different matter. Bed bugs can spread rapidly and take over your home quickly.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to identify bed bugs or realize you have an infestation. Ultimately, keeping an eye out for signs of an infestation can help you identify the problem before it gets out of hand. Professional services provided by Pest Defense Solutions eliminate a bed bug infestation before they are able to take over your home!

How to Identify a Bed Bug

Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-shaped insects. They are reddish-brown in color and are about the size of an appleseed. Comparatively, they appear larger after feeding. Because they are nocturnal and feed at night while you are sleeping, you may not notice bites right away.

Bed bug bites can be easily mistaken as bites from another type of insect such as mosquitoes or chiggers. Although bed bugs don’t transmit any diseases through their bites the area can become itchy and swollen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends you contact a dermatologist if you have multiple bites, if they blister, are pus filled, or are showing other signs of infection or an allergic reaction.

Where to Check For Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be found anywhere people reside. Since these pests are nocturnal, they feed at night and will most often hide where humans and mammals sleep. They are called bed bugs for a reason!

Common infestation signs include:

  1. Spots on Your Sheets: After feeding, bed bugs often leave behind small blood stains on bedding, mattresses, furniture, or even your pajamas. 
  2. Bed Bug Excrements: Yes, it is gross to think about! This pest leaves droppings that look like small dark spots the size of a period. These spots may be concentrated in one area or scattered across your sleeping area.
  3. Shed Skins: As a bed bug grows, they shed their skin. They often leave their skins and hide in seams and crevices of mattresses, bedding, carpet, or floorboards.This is a clear sign of an infestation.

How Do Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home

Considering bed bugs are small and hide themselves well, you can unknowingly bring them home with you. Any area frequented by the public are locations where bed bugs can occur. Some common places include: 

  • Traveling: These hitchhiking insects can easily latch onto your luggage, clothing, and other belongings when traveling. If you stay in a hotel or other lodging area that has bed bugs, you may accidentally bring them home with you.
  • Used Furniture: They love to hide in used furniture, especially mattresses and upholstered items. If you buy secondhand furniture without inspecting it thoroughly, you may carry bed bugs into your home!
  • Shared Spaces: Bed bugs can move between homes and apartments through openings like wall voids, floor cracks, and even the ventilation system.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

DIY remedies or treatments do little when it comes to eradicating a bed bug infestation from your home. At the first sign of bed bugs, call the extermination experts with Pest Defense Solutions. With over 15 years in the Albuquerque area, we are the leaders in bed bug extermination. We thoroughly inspect your home and formulate a plan that is suited to you and your family’s needs. The sooner you call a professional, the sooner you can take your home back. 

Do Bed Bugs Spread Quickly?

Bed bugs spread quickly in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Bed bugs do not crawl or move as fast as some pests, but that doesn’t mean they don’t spread at an alarming rate! These pests are opportunists, meaning they will use a number of means to travel from one area to another. The spread of bed bugs usually happens when these pests latch onto clothing, suitcases, and more. Because of their silent nature, bed bugs can spread from one room to another in your home before you ever discover them. Plus, once established, bed bugs will reproduce at a rate that can quickly turn a small infestation into a large one. Read more with the experts here at Pest Defense Solutions to learn how you can stop the quick spread of bed bugs.

How Do Bed Bugs Travel From One Place to Another?

Bed bugs are unlike their fellow blood-sucking pests (fleas & ticks) in that they do not typically latch onto their hosts. After they are finished feeding, bed bugs will retreat to their hiding place until they are ready to eat once more. So how do bed bugs spread, then?

The spread of bed bugs typically occurs when the bugs latch onto luggage, clothing, bags, used furniture, or other infested items. When these items are moved from one area to another, they can easily introduce the bed bugs into a new area entirely.

5 Tips to Keep Bed Bugs From Spreading

To prevent bed bugs from spreading throughout your home, it’s important to learn how to inspect for bed bug activity. In addition:

  1. When traveling, use hard shell suitcases and thoroughly inspect your hotel room for bed bugs. Always store luggage up off the ground.
  2. Be wary of purchasing second-hand furniture unless you’ve inspected it thoroughly for bed bugs.
  3. Place protective covers over the mattresses and box springs in your home.
  4. When arriving home from traveling, steam clean your suitcase and wash all clothing before storing everything away.
  5. If you utilize shared laundry facilities or a laundromat, seal your clothes in a plastic bag to and from the facility, and always fold your clothes at home.

The Spread of Bed Bugs: How to Stop It

Bed bugs may be slow crawlers, but they can still spread quickly and often silently. Once you discover the first signs of bed bugs in your home or business, it’s crucial to reach out to your local bed bug exterminators as soon as possible. At Pest Defense Solutions, we will work hard to get rid of bed bugs and keep them away from your Albuquerque property for good. Contact us today to get started!

Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

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Entomologists from Pest Defense Solutions’ parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Debunking 8 Common Bed Bug Myths

Learn about common bed bug myths in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

If you’ve had bed bug problems in the past, you know what a pain they can be. Although bed bugs don’t cause the damage or destruction that many pests do, an infestation can definitely cause psychological stress. Because bed bugs are so feared, there is a lot of false information spread about them constantly. To better prepare yourself for possibly getting bed bugs, it’s important to learn the facts about bed bugs. Bed Bug Awareness Week is here, and the team at Pest Defense Solutions is here to dispel common bed bug myths. Read on to learn the truth about bed bugs!

The Truth About These 8 Bed Bug Myths

As a pest control company, we are always happy to answer common questions about pests. However, we also receive a lot of questions that prove how common bed bug myths are. Some of these include:

  1. Are bed bugs nocturnal?
    • No! Bed bugs are active when their hosts are at rest. This usually means overnight, but they are able to adjust their schedule to feed when you are at rest.
  2. Can bed bugs infest areas of your home other than your bedroom?
    • Bed bugs can infest anywhere–including chairs, sofas, cracks in the wall, and even power outlets. They prefer to congregate near where their hosts rest, which is why bedrooms are often where they reside.
  3. Are bed bugs too small to see without a magnifying glass?
    • No. Although nymphs are nearly impossible to see, adult bed bugs are about the size of an appleseed and are definitely visible.
  4. Are bed bugs more likely to infest messy homes?
    • This is a common misconception with bed bugs, and it is not true/ Bed bugs are attracted to blood and warmth, not messy homes!
  5. Do bed bugs jump or fly?
    • No! Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs have underdeveloped wings. Instead of flying or jumping, they crawl from one area to another.
  6. Should you throw away infested mattresses or other items?
    • No! In fact, you shouldn’t move infested furniture in the midst of an infestation. Doing so can contribute to bed bugs spreading into other areas.
  7. Can bed bug bites transmit disease?
    • Thankfully, no. Bed bugs may cause you anxiety and even itchiness, but their bites do not transmit any dangerous diseases.
  8. Can you get rid of bed bugs yourself?
    • No! If you want to get rid of bed bugs, it’s crucial to enlist the help of a professional exterminator.

Bed Bugs in Albuquerque

If you have bed bugs, it’s important to act quickly. The team at Pest Defense Solutions knows how pesky these bugs can be as well as how distressing they are for property owners here in Albuquerque NM. DIY methods are never sufficient to control an infestation. Our bed bug treatment options are designed to keep you and your family safe from bed bugs–contact us today to learn more!