For many people, the onset of warm weather means upcoming trips and weekend excursions with friends and family members. Unfortunately, traveling on planes and trains and staying in hotels also means a higher risk of bringing home the No. 1 unwanted guest: bed bugs.
Whether you're traveling out of the country for an extended period, or just taking a weekend trip to Ontario, it's important to be aware. The beg bug problem in Canada and much of the U.S. doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the summer months may just be the worst. From 2014 to 2015 there was a 20 percent spike in the number of reports on bed bugs, according to CTV News Canada.
What's more, according to a recent survey of pest control professionals, conducted by the National Pest Management Association, 75 percent have encountered bed bugs in hotels. That means there's a pretty high chance you may pass through a hotel that was at one time or another the victim of bed bugs. While they are not necessarily considered a health concern, bed bugs are extremely agitating and unpleasant. Getting rid of bed bugs once you have them can be extremely difficult and time-consuming, not to mention expensive. The best way to avoid encounters with these pests is to practice proper prevention methods.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the most effective way to prevent bed bugs is to perform regular inspections for signs of an infestation. The telltale signs of bed bugs include spots of rusty color on bedding, bugs in the fold of mattresses, sweet and musty odors and the exoskeletons of the bugs after they have molted. If bed bugs have invaded unnoticed, symptoms on an individual will include bite marks on the face, arms, hands and neck. However, these can take up to two weeks to appear.
The inspections advised by the CDC should be done by hotel staff on a regular basis. However, it's best to also check the hotel room yourself upon arrival. First and foremost, pull back sheets and bedding to inspect mattress seams and corners for stains or signs of bed bugs. Inspect all furniture, blankets, pillows and headboards. Bed bug infestations are known to spread rapidly and can move from one place to another by attaching to luggage, clothing and even housekeeping carts. The NPMA advised keeping your suitcase in a trash bag to ensure that bed bugs do not find their way inside.
Before packing up your bag at the end of the trip, perform another check to prevent bringing home pesty hitchhikers. Washing all clothing in hot water is also advised. Overall, to be sure that your fun-filled spring travels all go off without a hitch, practicing vigilance and preventative measures are key for avoiding an unwanted run in with bed bugs.
Because of the high amount of traffic and the versatility of the facilities, pests are naturally attracted to long-term care institutions. Many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and other care facilities include on-site kitchens and cafeterias as well as private rooms and common spaces. All of these places are susceptible to attracting pests because of the presence of food, water and viable habitats.
During the summer months, some people love to go camping with family and friends. Yet this fun trip can be ruined with a few unwanted visitors, most notably different types of bugs. Crawling spiders, hungry mosquitoes and buzzing flies can become annoying quickly. How can you avoid these pests when you're outdoors? Consider these tips to keep bugs out of your campsite.
Carpenter ants can chew through the strongest studs and stringers in a house as they hollow the wooden beams out for nesting. The resulting damage can weaken the home's structural support and require expensive repairs. Professional pest control workers can remove a colony of ants, but the best practice for homeowners is to learn the best ways to keep out an ant colony and prevent the problem before it begins.
As the weather cools, you'll probably see fewer pests than you did during the warmer months, but that doesn't mean they're all gone just yet. Some insects can actually come out in full force during the autumn, while others might seek refuge in your warm home. Here are some key tips to keep in mind as fall gets underway:
As the middle of summer approaches, you need to be vigilant about keeping your garden free of pests. Many insects breed during the summertime, which means they're on the lookout for great places to lay their eggs. For many bugs, that means near a source of food. In fact, some species of insects will lay their eggs inside budding vegetables and fruit so their larvae have something to eat as soon as they hatch. That's why you have to keep harmful bugs out without damaging the bugs that could help you, such as bumble bees.
You might have noticed that, with the exception of the kitchen, you find more pests in your bathroom than in the rest of your home. This is because insects and rodents see the bathroom as a convenient watering hole. Pests love leaky pipes and standing water because these offer them a hydrating oasis in the otherwise dry biome that is your house or apartment. And if your bathroom develops mold, all the better for pests, who may eat fungus or use it to lay their eggs.
The kitchen is largest gathering place for pests in a residential home. The reason is simple: pests can grab a bite to eat and take a sip of water while they're here. And when they find such a bountiful place, they will return home to their nests and report the finding - before you know it, your whole pantry is a buffet for ants! The problem could get even worse if a piece of food falls somewhere and begins to rot. Similarly, fruit and vegetables you bring into your home may be harboring unseen pests waiting to hatch.
Dorm rooms are a space that you can make your own while you're at college. You can decorate them and make them as cozy as you'd like so that it reminds you of home while you're away. However, this cozy home away from home becomes less comforting when you notice bed bugs crawling around your floor or resting in your bed with you. Consider these tips to keep bed bugs out of your dorm room.