How much caution do you use while travelling? Of course there are the pretty obvious do's and don'ts when away from home and spending the night in hotels, motels, or even Airbnb's. What about the less talked about dangers that could pose a serious risk to your health and safety?
Dangers such as bedbug infestations.
The Health Canada released a statement today about bedbugs and how to avoid bringing them home from your travels. It's common for unsuspecting people to have their luggage, sleeping areas, appliances, and more become infested with the blood-sucking critters when visiting new areas. Luckily, Health Canada has revealed a few ways to ensure you aren't bringing these unwelcome guests home with you.
TL;DR The Government of Canada is warning travellers of the dangers of bedbugs, an insect that feeds on the blood of sleeping humans, and the high possibility of having an infestation brought home with you after your time spent in public accomodations. Below is a list of do's and don'ts when it comes to ensuring bedbugs don't hitch a ride home with you.
In case you didn't know, bedbugs are reddish-brown in colour and have small bodies that look similar to an apple seed. Bedbugs are known for biting people while they sleep and feeding on their blood. Their bites can lead to minor skin reactions as well as severe allergic reactions.
When staying in an accomodation, look for live or dead bugs as well as black and brown spots (this means dried blood and feces) as well as tiny white spots that are probably eggs.
Since these bugs are amazing at hiding, and can even go undetected behind wallpaper, picture frames and electrical outlets, you're going to want to take some pretty big precautions before cozying up in your temporary living space.
Health Canada has released helpful tips that will be useful next time you're staying away from home and want to investigate your room for any bedbugs.
These tips come directly from the Health Canada statement:
- "Put your luggage in a bathtub or in the middle of a tiled floor when you first arrive. Beds, furniture, and carpeted areas could be infested with the bugs."
- "Use a flashlight and a flat-edged object, such as a credit card, to scan the entire room for bedbugs."
- "Only use luggage stands made of metal, as bedbugs are attracted to wood and can be found on the stands. Do not unpack and place your belongings in the provided wooden drawers."
- "Move bedsheets around the edge of the bed and look in the seams of the mattress and box spring. Also check the headboard and the wall behind the bed. Pillows, bedskirts, bed frame, and legs should also be examined."
- "Investigate any other furniture in the room, as well as cracks and crevices in the walls."
- "Electrical outlets, light switches, A/C units and clocks could also be breeding grounds for bedbugs."
- "During your stay, keep shoes and other outerwear on tiled surfaces away from walls."
- "Use sealable bags to keep bedbugs out of your belongings."
- "Do not store anything under the bed."
- "Do one last sweep of the entire room at the end of your stay. Examine your personal belongings before you leave."
Unfortunately, bedbugs can easily hide in belongings and may hitch a ride home with you. It's important that once you return home, you wash and dry all of your clothes that you brought on your travels using the hottest temperature the fabric can withstand.
Make sure to leave your clothes in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes, as this will ensure all bugs are killed. Health Canada also recommends storing your suitcase in a location away from your bedroom to limit the spreading of these bugs.
Hopefully all this information will make your next trip a lot safer and more enjoyable. For more details on bedbugs, visit Health Canada's website HERE.