ATLANTA — “Sleep tight – don’t let the bed bugs bite.” What was once a light-hearted nursery rhyme now serves as a legitimate warning…because bed bugs are back and more resilient than ever!
“Bed bugs are the great hitchhiker of the bug world, and they are very difficult to control without professional help,” said Orkin Entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “Bed bugs can travel in luggage and other personal belongings to enter your home,” Harrison said, adding, “They don’t just hide in beds – they can be found in furniture, bed posts, rugs and even electrical outlets.”
Chicago tops pest control leader Orkin’s list of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities for the fourth year in a row.
During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P to inspect for bed bugs:
Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Look for red or brown spots on sheets.
Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, sheets and furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
Elevate luggage on a rack away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
Examine your luggage while repacking and once you return home from a trip.
Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.
While bed bugs are not known to spread human diseases like many other pests and some people have no reaction to bed bug bites, others may experience itchy red welts and swelling.