Not all hitchhikers hold out their thumbs for a ride. In fact, there are many creepy-crawly insects that are notorious for hitching a lift on unsuspecting victims, easily gaining access to your home or place of business. Even if you don’t own a pet, keep a spotless house, and carefully store your food, sneaky bugs can still get in and wreak havoc on your premises.
Ask any seasoned traveller, bugs are a pretty resourceful bunch. They’ll take advantage of any opportunity that pops up to latch on to you or your things. And once insects have infested your home, they can cause a lot of property damage, not to mention put the health of you and the ones you care about at risk. Worried about bringing home some unwelcomed mementos from your vacation? Here are four common pests that can hitch a ride home with you.
Bed bugs are seasoned hitchhikers. They can crawl into your suitcase or latch on to just about anything coming into your home, including furniture, clothing, bedding, and TVs. Bed bugs can live for several months without feeding. And believe it or not, all it takes is just a one-bed bug to produce hundreds of offspring, producing a full-blown infestation—overrunning bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms, and offices, in no time at all.
Cockroaches are one of nature’s great survivors. They are skilled at infiltrating property and mass-producing right under our noses. These sneaky scavengers are attracted to food and can gain entry into your home via a number of ways, such as baggage, purses, backpacks, boxes, and used furniture. Once inside, cockroaches can easily squeeze into small spaces, finding refuge in a wide variety of areas—inside cupboards, closets or drawers, behind fridges and stoves, as well as under beds.
Ants are drawn to the smell of food, so it is a good idea to properly seal all your food items before you enter your home. If these troublesome insects find their way into your house or business, they can be extremely difficult to remove. Even a single ant scurrying around your kitchen could be a warning sign that a colony has set up shop somewhere in your home.
If you think you are safe from attracting fleas because you don’t own a cat or a dog, think again. Sure, fleas love to catch a ride on Fido, but did you know they are also drawn to any warm-blooded host, including people? Similar to bedbugs, fleas can attach themselves to clothing, shoes, and luggage. These tiny insects are also particularly nasty because they can trigger allergic reactions in pets and humans, as well as transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets. If you suspect that you have brought home some six-legged guests, it is always a good idea to call a professional exterminator. Pest control specialists know how to properly identify and remove nasty critters, kicking unwanted hitchhikers to the curb.
How to Prevent Hitchhiking Insects from Getting Into Your Home
Nothing can ruin the memories of a great vacation faster than stowaway pests. Bed bugs, ants, cockroaches, and fleas—these pesky critters can turn your living space upside down, making you mighty sorry you decided to even go on a trip in the first place. To help ensure you don’t bring insects home with you, here is some handy advice to prevent bugs from hitching a ride.
Do Your Homework
Benjamin Franklin must have been talking about insect infestations when he said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (actually, it was about fire safety, but he could have just as easily been talking about bugs). Unlike in Mr. Franklin’s day, however, we have the advantage of the internet to help us steer clear of some potential pest disasters.
Does that hotel bargain sound too good to pass up? Well, you might think twice about that “great deal” if it turns out to be a local favourite for visitors of the six-legged variety. Before you book your hotel, do an online search for traveller reviews. There are countless sites out there that will give you the inside scoop, both good and bad. If the hotel you are planning to stay at has had any kind of bug problem, you’ll know about it. Taking the time to look over hotel reviews can provide you with some valuable insight, helping you avoid bringing bugs home.
Be Luggage Smart
If you are like most people, the first thing you do when you get to your hotel is tossed your luggage on the bed and unpack. Makes sense doesn’t it? After all, it’s been a long flight and you want to start enjoying your vacation as soon as possible. But, before you leave your room and dash off to the beach, you might want to take a few bug safety precautions first.
By now, you already know that insects are opportunists. They’re sneaky little buggers, jumping at any opportunity to hitch a ride to their next free meal. Don’t give them one. Whenever you are staying at a hotel, keep all your stuff away from the bed and furniture. Put your belongings on elevated storage racks instead. If that is not an option, store your luggage in the bathroom. It’s not as effective as having your items off the ground, but there are fewer places for insects to hide when compared to other rooms in your hotel.
Look over Your Hotel Room
The only way to know for sure if you’re sharing your hotel room with creepy critters is to get down on your hands and knees and look. Sure, there are probably a million other things you’d rather be doing on your vacation then bug hunting, but inspecting your room for insects can save you a lot of hassles and headaches down the road.
The moment you enter your room, do a thorough search. Insects, like cockroaches and bedbugs, are masters at hiding, so it is going to take some detective work and a flashlight to get the job done right. Start by checking your sheets. Look for bug skins, larvae, or tiny spots of dried blood and fecal matter. Move on to other possible hiding areas like the mattress, bedding, box spring, furniture, walls, and baseboards—any place you think bugs might be lurking. If you do find bugs or anything that points to them, notify the front desk immediately.
Check Your Things before Bringing Them Inside
One of the best ways to avoid having to get rid of bugs from your home is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Remember, once they get in, you’re going to have your hands full trying to get them out. Even just a few of these troublesome insects can quickly spread throughout your place, resulting in an infestation.
To prevent insects from raiding your property, carefully inspect all luggage, bags, purses, and backpacks before you cart anything into your home. You can use your driveway or walkway to examine your things. Or if you live in an apartment or condominium, use your balcony, bathroom, or shower space. Also, you want to make sure to immediately wash and dry your clothes prior to putting them away. When it comes to stopping an infestation, you want to do everything you can to contain the situation before things spiral out of control.
Get Rid Of Hitchhiking Bugs from Your Home Fast
Bugs hiding in your sheets? If you think getting rid of insects is easy, you’re in for a rude awakening. And the longer you wait to take control of your pest issue, the harder it is going to be. Before you know it, you could have a serious infestation under your roof.
When it comes to bugs in your home, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. You need to act fast before that seemingly small pest issue turns into an unmanageable disaster. Over time, pests can cause serious damage to your walls, furniture, and even your building foundation—repairs that are going to cost you a fortune.
Property damage isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. There is also the issue of health safety. Pests are infamous for spreading dangerous diseases. Cockroaches, for example, carry salmonella and E. coli. And fleas can carry and transmit a surprising number of diseases to animals and humans, including typhus and plague.
Hire a Pest Control Company
If you suspect that you have brought home some uninvited guests, it is always a good idea to call a professional exterminator. Pest control specialists know how to identify and remove nasty critters, kicking unwanted hitchhikers to the curb.
Proper identification and treatment of invading insects require the expertise and years of experience that can only come from a trained pest control provider. Here at Solutions Pest Control, we use an integrated pest management approach, with all the latest pest control equipment and safety products. If hitchhiking pests have invaded your home, think Solutions Pest Control for all your pest removal needs.