Beware Bed Bugs When You Pack, Travel

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Just looking at bed bugs is enough to get your skin crawling, but the creepy critters could easily become your reality as you get ready to pick up and pack up for the holidays.

Connie Wolfe, of the Clay County Health Department, said health officials have received twice as many calls on bed bugs this year.

“We’re seeing an increase in car travel due to the price of air travel, so people are traveling more up and down the streets and into hotels,” Wolfe said. “They may not know it, but they may have one of these bed bugs hitchhiking a ride to their next destination.” Those destinations include private homes, which is why Wolfe said it’s important to be proactive.

George Richardson, of Peninsular Pest Control, suggests that travelers keep all of their items in their luggage.

He said to check sheets and mattresses for small brown spots because that’s the trail bed bugs tend to leave.

“Any crack that the bed bugs can, they can get in and they can get in your home,” Richardson said. “One female can lay up to 12 eggs a day.” Richardson said bed bugs aren’t just attracted to furniture or other belongings, they’re also attracted to people. In fact, bed bugs like to be within eight feet of people, he said.

So if you come across bed bugs, Richardson suggests putting all of your items in a clear plastic bag like so you can see the bugs.

He said to wash clothes in hot water—over 110 degrees—to get rid of the bed bugs. And if you’re bitten, use an anti-itch cream If you have any questions about bed bugs and how to dispose of them, contact a professional.

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