Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite
That little nursery rhyme takes on new meaning these days. With the holiday travel season coming up, this story by our colleague Luis Perez was especially helpful, although I have to admit halfway through reading it I was scratching imaginary itches all over my head, my nose, my back. Blech.
I liked the tip about bringing a small flashlight when traveling. Keep your luggage in the bathroom while you use your flashlight to look along the mattress, especially the ribbing, underneath the mattress, along the baseboard, along the wall, and in crevices in furniture and appliances. If you spot evidence, ask for another room. During your stay, keep your clutter to a minimum so any bugs you may have missed can't hitch a ride. Some other helpful tips were
to make use of your laundry dryer to kill them with heat.
My husband took a business trip recently and we left his luggage in the garage and threw all his clothes in the dryer because of all warnings about bedbugs. Turns out that's exactly what the experts in the story recommended. Most helpful was this list of products recommended by Bedbug Central.
Phil Koehler, an urban entomologist at the University of Florida and top bedbug expert, likes Rest Easy bedbug luggage spray ($15), which can make luggage less inviting. He also likes BugZip garment bag and suitcase encasements ($17.99 to $19.99), bug-free cocoons for your possessions.
For electronics and things that cannot be laundered, Koehler likes Hot Shot No-Pest Strips ($6.49). The website also has a variety of mattress and box spring covers (prices vary per size) to protect an expensive mattress from an infestation.
Frequent travelers might want to invest in the PackTite portable heating unit ($320) which zaps the bugs and their eggs by bringing them in excess of 120 degrees, especially useful for things that cannot be laundered.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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