There are always going to be things that concern you as a frequent traveler, but bed bugs are likely at the top of your list of things that you need to be alert to. Even though you, like most travelers, will educate yourself about specific hotels to avoid or what to do if you come across bed bugs, there are still a lot of myths in circulation that could leave you vulnerable to coming in contact with these biting pests away from home.
Myth: If you stay in only five-star hotels, you will never see bed bugs.
Fact: Bed bugs do not discriminate; they will enjoy the lush furnishings of a five-star location just as much as they do a cheap hotel that has a shady reputation and dirty rooms. You may be less likely to see bed bugs in a hotel where cleanliness is of the utmost importance, but you should never just expect that a five-star hotel would be bed bug-free.
Myth: You can only come in contact with bed bugs at a hotel.
Fact: Bed bugs are not just a hotel problem, even though this is where most people will come in contact with these pests. In 2011, British Airways had to ground two flights due to bed bug problems after passenger complaints. Further, bed bugs can be found just about anywhere you would find people and their belongings, including public transportation, medical facilities, and even movie theaters or dining establishments. So, no matter where you are when you travel, it is definitely a good idea to keep your belongings close and be on alert.
Myth: Infestations are not a problem in all states.
Fact: It is true that some states have more issues with bed bugs than others, but bed bugs can actually be found in every state in this country. Plus, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bed bugs can actually be found across the globe in many different countries. However, these pests are a bigger issue in urban areas, where inhabitants can live in tight communities and the bugs are easily spread from one location to the next.
By educating yourself about the myths and facts of bed bugs as a traveler, you will be much less likely to be surprised by an infestation or even end up with them in your luggage. If you believe you have inadvertently brought bed bugs home as a souvenir, talk to a professional pest control agent, such as those at Cavanaugh's Professional Termite & Pest Services, for advice.