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Snowbirds: Beware of Bedbugs

How to identify and avoid bed bugs when traveling
A group of bed bugs scurries across some bedding

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Come winter, snowbirds flee the brisk weather of the North to find sunnier spots in places like Arizona. Whether staying in a short term rental, hotel, or winter home, it is important for snowbirds in Phoenix and other warm climates to know the signs of a creature you don’t want to join you on vacation: bedbugs

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like? 

An adult bed bug is reddish brownish and about the size of an apple seed, 3/16 – 1/4 inch long. They have a long, oval shaped body if they haven’t recently fed and a more elongated form if they have eaten recently. 

Young bed bugs are smaller and have a white-yellow color. They can often be invisible to the naked eye. Bed bug eggs are even smaller, close to the size of a pinhead. They have a pearl-white color. 

Early Signs of Bed Bugs and How to Check for Bed Bugs

Because of their small size, bed bugs are hard to spot right away with the naked eye. A first indication of a bed bug infestation is bites on the skin. These bites can look like mosquito bites or eczema rashes and can sometimes take up to two weeks to develop after being exposed. However, before waiting to see if bites develop, you can look out for other signs that might indicate a bed bug infestation.  

Other signs to look out for are musty odors that have no other cause, small rust-colored stains on bed sheets or pillows, and pinhead-sized eggs stuck to surfaces. Before sleeping in a bed in a hotel room, winter home, or rental, check common hiding spots for bed bugs. Use a flashlight to check edges of mattresses, cracks and crevices of furniture, bed frames, and edges of the carpet for bed bugs, eggs, feces, or a musty smell. 

Other signs to look out for are musty odors that have no other cause, small rust-colored stains on bed sheets or pillows, and pinhead-sized eggs stuck to surfaces. Before sleeping in a bed in a hotel room, winter home, or rental, check common hiding spots for bed bugs. Use a flashlight to check edges of mattresses, cracks and crevices of furniture, bed frames, and edges of the carpet for bed bugs, eggs, feces, or a musty smell. 

Just like snowbirds, bed bugs love to be warm, so mattresses and sheets are their favorite places to sleep. Other tips for traveling and avoiding bed bugs include putting your luggage on luggage racks, keeping your suitcase zipped shut, and tumble drying in a dryer any possibly-infested clothes when you get home. 

If you think you may have unwelcome bed bug guests, be sure to contact your friends at Responsible Pest & Scorpion Control. Our effective, solution-oriented methods will quickly help you prevent and get rid of pests in your home or business. Contact us for a quote or to schedule an appointment to get rid of your bed bugs before they become an interruption to your winter plans!