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Daily Q&A: How do I prevent picking up bed bugs when on vacation?

With reports of bed bug infestations growing because of travelers picking them up in their luggage and other belongings, what can I do to prevent picking up bed bugs while on vacation?

The National Pest Management Association says bed bug infestation has been growing since 2001. Travelers can follow some easy steps to guard against bed bugs.

"Travelers can unknowingly bring bed bugs into their homes, giving the pests a new place to live and feed," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Bed bugs multiply quickly and can be difficult to eliminate. We advise travelers to keep a few bed bug prevention tips in mind to avoid this most unwanted trip souvenir."

Here are tips from the NPMA when traveling and using hotels:

• Pull back the hotel bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly the corners, for telltale brownish or reddish spots.

• Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Do not put your luggage on the bed.

• If you change rooms, but choose to stay in the same establishment, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room. Use a large plastic bag to store your luggage.

• When you return home, inspect and vacuum your suitcases thoroughly before bringing them into the house.

• Wash all your clothes – whether worn or not – in hot water.

For these and other tips about bed bugs, visit: www.pestworld.org.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How do I prevent picking up bed bugs when on vacation? 06/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 4:12pm]
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