Traveling is one of the great rewards of life. You work all year long, saving and scrimping along the way so you put more towards your trip. Your efforts will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. While this might be great, there are several risks associated with traveling these days. One such risk is bed bugs
. However, learning to apply the SLEEP acronym to your travels can help avoid bedbug
infestations. Here’s what you need to know about protecting yourself when traveling abroad.
The start of the process is probably pretty presumptuous, but overlooking it will be the start of your downfall. They’ll move right into their new accommodations and start unloading their belongings. This is a huge mistake because you could be putting your things in infested areas. This is why it pays to take time to survey the room. Perform a quick search of the area to check for signs and symptoms of bed bugs. Look for stains on the sheets, eggs, and larvae. If it is a large infestation, you might smell sweet, musty odors.
LIFT And LOOK
This part of the process expands on the first. However, it takes things a bit further. Instead of performing a visual inspection of the area, you need to physically get in there and look for the bugs. Lift that mattress, open the nightstands, check under the box springs, and scour all the commonly known hiding places for bed bugs
. You’d be surprised by how much this helps. Remember that their most common hiding places are mattresses, box springs, nightstands, and bed frames.
There are two E’s in the SLEEP theory, but the first is without a doubt one of the most ingenious steps of this entire process. Do you know those hotel luggage racks that are found in most motel rooms? Unfortunately, most people do not use the luggage rack, but you should. Bed bugs
are known for being excellent hitchhikers and they can climb up walls, but it is much harder for them to do so. By placing your luggage up high and then inspecting the room for signs of an infestation, you are greatly lessening your chances of experiencing an infestation at home. You can utilize the racks your entire stay.
Again, make sure you place the rack in the middle of the room so bedbugs
cannot climb nearby walls and jump inside.
When most people see this second examination step, they tend to think it means performing another search of the property. Instead, this step applies to your return and your luggage. Take the time to examine your belongings before packing up and heading out. Just because you’ve spent a week in a hotel room without experiencing any bites or symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are home-free. These critters are extremely cryptic and will go out of their way to avoid detection. Therefore, you might be exposed without even know it. Another thing to note is that this is also a step of the process that can be performed at home. Upon returning home, you can empty your luggage on the garage floor and scour your items for bed bugs.
Checking your luggage in an exterior room will decrease the likelihood that you’re going to experience issues.
The P might be the last step in the equation here, but it is without a doubt one that ties everything together. It also applies to your return trip home. One thing to know is that this is an offensive step. Begin by placing your clothing in the washer and wash them in hot water. After that, you’ll want to dry them on the highest heat setting possible. It has been well-documented that bed bugs cannot survive extreme heat for extended periods. Their bodies dehydrate and dry out when exposed to incredibly hot temperatures.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of risks associated with traveling these days. Not only does one have to worry about diseases and getting mugged, but you have to worry about bed bugs in your hotel rooms. At least that used to be the case until you’ve learned to adopt the SLEEP acronym. While this theory is not completely foolproof, it will go a long way to preventing bed bugs. The last thing you want is to return home from a week or two-week-long trip to discover that you’ve brought more than souvenirs back with you. Learn this theory, adopt it, and live by it. When you do this, you’ll make your travels all the more enjoyable.