Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A travel writers worst fear.. Bed Bugs.

I have a secret that I’m going to let only my close friends know so listen closely. I have a fear.......

I wake up in the middle of the night feeling like something is crawling over my legs, that brings me in a panic tearing my covers off me in a panic just to check my mattress. Thinking that I see a speck that is moving against the mattress or lint on my Pj’s knowing that they just have to be A bed bug. 
Here are some things that helped me try to calm down just alittle bit about where I am staying you can now check the hotel that you are staying at ahead of time at bedbugregistry.com. A great resource to check and see if you can rest your head in peace. Be careful not to end up like me, this is like crack to me and my OCD just loves it! Another bonus about the web page is you can tell them 
What has been known in the past until now was that it was mostly in the Big Cities. this isn’t the case anymore. With this big scary bed bugs getting rid of them is not an easy task. Most cases of  infestation will require treatment by a pest-control expert. A variety of low-odor sprays, dusts, and aerosol insecticides can be used to eradicate the problem. Once applied to all the areas where the bugs have been seen or could be at, all the spaces where they may crawl or hide. The worst part that can happen is that you will have to ask the pest-control company for help so that you can determine if the mattress can be disinfected or discarded. That is a big amount of money  for you to replace a bed since beds cannot readily be treated with insecticides, it's often necessary to discard infested mattresses and bedding. What are bed bugs? 
Many people don’t know what Bed bugs are, so here is a run down to my nightmare! They are small, oval, non-flying insects which includes three species that bite people. Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length, while Nymphs are as small as 1.5 mm. Bed bugs have flat bodies and may sometimes be mistaken for a tick or small cockroaches. Bed bugs feed by sucking blood from humans or animals! If I wanted to be bitten I would call up Edward Cullen!!!! Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, appearing 
more reddish after feeding on a blood meal. Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding. The wings of bed bugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly. If you see little black spots or stains on the mattress that is a true sign that you have been infected! This is bed bug poop! Yes bed bugs poop!!! It is like lice in your bed, having to watch or take everything that can’t throw in the machine to be washed to the cleaners. 
Bed bugs die in a temperatures over 120. I have a complete check list of things I do when I arrive at my hotel room, I check the headboard and box spring for the bugs. If I find any I ask the hotel front desk to find me another room. I store my luggage in the bath room so that it is less likely to  find a cold, hard surface unlike the new soft materials.  Always use the luggage rack set nothing on the floor!
You can bring bed bugs in your house by your bags, or purses, jacket, all your clothes, your suitcase that you were in the hotel with. 
Here are a few tips to not bring the bedbugs home with you.
Wash everything after a trip! Not just the dirty stuff. Maybe going the extra mile by taking all your clothes off in the garage ( make sure you shut the door so you don’t scare the neighbors!) Clean out and vacuum your suitcase.
Here is one that you might never think about....    Double and triple your second hand clothes, Not just that the second hand clothes but the ones you by at the stores like Old navy  or Kohls, You are not the only one trying on the clothes that you buy and bring home. Protect you beds by using a encasements made by either a protect-a-bed or a mattress safe! They are pricey but worth it to not have to go buy a new bed set. 
Remember that since bed bugs can live for months without feeding, they can also be found in vacant homes!!! Yikes I am know scratching my head, legs, my dog! Just remember the saying
“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!” I will never think of that again the same way. Now I’m off to bed with the flashlight to do my nightly bed check! 

For my Seattle friends here you go a list of Seattle area hotels. 

1112 4th Ave Seattle, WA
Travelodge Seattle Weste Sw Ala
1800 Yale Ave Seattle, WA
Best Western Loyal Inn
13700 Aurora Ave N Seattle, WA
La Hacienda Motel
5414 1st Ave S Seattle, WA
Holiday Inn Express Seattle City Center, Seattle
226 Aurora Ave. North, Seattle, Wa Seattle, WA
105 Pike St Seattle, WA
14817 Aurora Ave N Seattle, WA
8900 Aurora Ave N Seattle, WA
Curben Apartments
1726 Summit Ave Seattle, WA
Hampton Inn Bellingham
3985 Bennett Dr Bellingham, WA