Summer is here, and that means that vacation time for many. Renting houses and hotel rooms can also mean a major increase in the incidence of bed bugs.  While these pests can be quite a nuisance, you can learn how to check for bed bugs and avoid bringing them home with you when your travels are over.

Bed bugs travel with humans and are notorious hitch hikers. They stow away on clothes and in luggage. The pros at Assured Environments are your experts for bed bug prevention and control in the New York area. We’ll tell you how to identify bed bugs as well as how to get rid of them when you unknowingly bring them home from your latest journey.

What does a bed bug look like?Close up of a bed bugs anatomy.

Before you’re able to identify bed bugs, you have to know what they look like. Bed bugs are tiny – about the size of an apple seed. They are brown in color and oval shaped. Bed bugs are flat unless engorged after eating. Bed bugs need your blood to procreate so when bed bugs bite you, they’re actually feeding on your blood. After feeding, their sides will swell, and they take on a more reddish color.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

Of course, of all the bed bug solutions available, the best is prevention. If you can notice the early signs of bed bugs, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later on. Checking for bed bugs can be difficult, but there are things you can look for.

Before putting your luggage in the room do a bed bug hotel check following these three steps:A hotel guest uses a flashlight to examine the mattress for bed bugs.

  1. Put on a set of rubber gloves and grab a flashlight and old credit card.
  2. Run the card along the seam of the mattress and look inside the seam.
  3. Look for live bugs or excrement from the bugs in the form of rust-colored stains.
  4. Check along and along and behind the headboard.

If you see any bed bug signs, contact management and let them know about the problem. Not only will you save yourself a potentially itchy stay, but you’ll also help the hotel control their problem sooner and spare future guests.

What do bed bug bites look like?

If you’ve done the check but wake up with fresh bites on your skin, you could still be the target of bed bugs. Bed bug bites aren’t all that different than mosquito or other bug bites. They are small red welts that can vary in appearance depending on your body’s reaction to them.Two red welts on a person's arm from bed bug bites.

Beg bugs will most likely bite you on the areas of your body that were exposed during the night – your face, hands and arms. Unlike mosquito bites, bed bug bites tend to be grouped in clusters or lines.

If you notice bites during your stay, perform another check and contact the management.

What if you brought bed bugs home?

The safest way to prevent bringing bed bugs into your home is to run everything you carried with you – clothes, luggage, etc. – in a hot dryer. After an hour in the dryer, any bed bugs will be dead bugs.Two bed bugs in a mattress seam.

If it is too late and you believe that you may have brought bed bugs home from vacation, use these same signs to help you detect the bugs.  Tiny flecks of blood on white sheets are almost always a sign of bed bugs.

Assured Environments can provide a bed bug assessment that can help you determine quickly and affordably if you have bed bugs in your home.  If you do have bed bugs, we have a variety of treatment options to quickly and effectively eliminate all bed bugs in your home.

How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs?

If you’re in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut and suspect you brought tiny, crawling souvenirs home from your travels, get in touch with Assured today. We can quickly identify bed bugs and contain them from spreading. Schedule your free inspection and sleep better knowing you’re free of bed bugs.