Thanksgiving Bed Bug Float

by Winston O. Buggy on November 7, 2007 · 9 comments

in bed bugs, bed bugs and travel, bed bugs in hotels, motels

As the clocks fall back, smoke detector batteries get changed, and the multi-colored leaves gracefully fall in their autumnal farewell, it means that a great American traditional holiday is almost upon us. So with pilgrim’s pride we search for that Alice’s Restaurant album or video and e-vite Thanksgiving guests, or work on better excuses than last year.

T’is the season of turkeys, tofurkeys and pumpkin pie but unfortunately it also has become a time for a seasonal redistribution of bed bugs. Whether it’s coming home from school, staying at a motel on the road or that quaint little cottage by the in-laws (if you’re lucky), you may not be traveling home alone. As a professional bed bug slayer, I as well as others have noticed an increase in nocturnal activity in the weeks following Thanksgiving. Now, with some time ahead of us, is the time to prepare to either sally forth or give some thought on how to protect your castle.

If you are traveling, try to avoid a late night stop at the only vacancy along the highway. Either plan not to stop, or select a place to stay and get there with enough time and energy to inspect your room and change it if necessary. Try to bring a minimum of things into the room, but remember not to leave too much in plain sight, or other things may get redistributed, like your luggage. If you do stay over consider keeping your suitcases in large plastic bags, and your clothes as well, and if you are traveling with a loved one, enjoy! If you are traveling with some else’s loved one, you may want to consider pajamas, but put them in a plastic bag when finished and put them in the dryer ASAP. Hey– what the heck? Wash ’em too, it’s Thanksgiving!

If you are hosting folks who may have a bed bug issue the dryer is your best friend. Be diplomatic and polite with your guest because they are going through hell. But don’t let them infest your home.

If you are planning to visit and you have bed bugs, now is the time to plan ahead. Start by putting your clothes in the dryer to kill any bed bugs on them and then isolate them in a plastic ziploc bag or at a friend’s home. Get a new suitcase and isolate it as well. If you suspect something may contain bed bugs, don’t bring it. When you are ready to travel, shower, put on your prepared and protected clothes, and go pick up your stuff from your friend’s house. All this may sound a bit extreme or paranoid but you don’t want to be remembered for infesting the family.

Obviously a bunch of suggestions and comments will follow this post, and that’s the point of it: read the positive ones and give yourself enough time to plan and prepare for a Happy Thanksgiving.

And while we are giving thanks let’s give some to nobugs for working hard to help others sleep well.

Winston O’Buggy (not his real name) is a Pest Control Operator and Entomologist.

Editor’s note:

Thanks, Winston! Readers may also be interested in these travel-related FAQs:

How can I avoid spreading bed bugs to others when I visit their homes?

How can I avoid bed bugs while traveling?

How to report and check up on hotel bed bug infestations

1 hymenoptera November 10, 2007 at 12:45 pm

Thanks for the advice. Do you think you should inquire as to your guests
bedbug status, or take the precautions if they have stayed at a motel.

2 hopelessnomo November 10, 2007 at 11:53 pm

All of which would require frank discussion of bedbugs with loved ones and guests. My guess is that a lot of people would be unwilling to breach manners which, after all, dictate that you make everyone feel comfortable and welcome.

3 nobugsonme November 12, 2007 at 2:13 am

Yes. Having some freshwater food grade DE lightly dusted in corners and cracks of rooms might go some way toward killing the odd bug (aren’t they all odd?) and encasing an UNINFESTED mattress is not a bad precaution either; it won’t prevent bed bugs in your home, but will keep them out of one likely spot, and possibly help make them more visible.

4 Winston O. Buggy November 16, 2007 at 2:11 pm

I think all folks with bed bugs should have to attend thanksgiving dinners
with a scarlet BB on their heads or clothing, that way it starts an educational
flow and spreads the word. Baring that perhaps a travel guideline sheet cpild be sent to those staying at hotels, motels and brothels along the way.

If you as a host are concerned have large clear bags for suitcases or knapsacks on hand. Monitor traps or tape and inspection although not foolproof offer some early warning if detected. Pesticide grade DE or NIC offer a reduced risk barrier.

I am looking for handlers for the cimex balloon any volunteers? imagine the
publicity that would get. Or bed bug fliers in the bedding sections.

5 Winston O. Buggy November 20, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Well it started out slow a week ago but now myself and all the other
bed bug folks are getting the calls. My son is coming home from school and
….. I’m going to visit my sister and don’t want to take my bb with me …..
My mother is coming for diner and she has had bb ………

Stay calm, take precautions and be polite.
And be sure to sleep tight after the tryptophan
sets in. And for you vegans sip the wine.

6 nobugsonme November 20, 2007 at 9:40 pm

Winston, it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet!!!

Would you say that there is more bed bug activity than this time last year, or just more bed bug chatter and concern? (I have a hunch…)

7 hopelessnomo November 21, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Winston.

8 Winston O. Buggy November 21, 2007 at 7:19 pm

In response to nobugs; unfortunatley both are up, the bed bugs bad
but the chatter good as more people become aware. Hopefully this
will lead to quicker action and less intense infestation.

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