Tips To Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling

Most people don’t realize it, but now is the absolute best time to travel. With COVID restrictions being slightly reduced, tourist destinations in dire need of visitors, and travel prices are at an all-time low. That being said, it’s always a good time to travel when you are going to an exciting place like Chicago. Although the “Windy City” does have a lot to offer, it poses a lot of risks for tourists. One of these risks is the bed bug. Luckily, you might be able to avoid contact with such a pest by learning the SLEEP theory.


The first letter of the SLEEP theory is the “S” which represents surveying. It just means to survey the room that you will be staying in for the duration of your trip. Even if you are staying in a five-star hotel, it does not necessarily mean there isn’t a chance of bed bug exposure. These bugs have been found in some of the cleanest rooms and hotels around the world. Be sure to perform a visual inspection of the room, checking all the known hiding spots before moving in.


The “L” is an important component of the SLEEP theory/ In fact, it is so important, it has a double meaning. The “L” encourages lifting and looking. It means taking the visual inspection one step further. Lift the mattress, flip the box springs, remove the pillowcases, or do whatever is completely necessary to confirm that you are not staying in a room infested with bed bugs. This step helps if you know all the potential hiding spots for the bugs. Be sure to familiarize yourself before your trip.


There are two Es in the sleep theory. But, there is no denying that the first “E” is the most important. It is more of an offensive approach to the entire situation. It implies taking advantage of the elevated luggage racks in the hotel rooms. These racks are usually installed high up on the walls in the hotel rooms where the bathrooms meet the living quarters. Some are in the closet. If you place your luggage on the racks, it’ll make it much harder for the bugs to access your belongings. These pests are more of a less road traveled kind of pests, meaning they will go out of their way to avoid detection, so if you make it harder to get to your luggage, it might make it seem like it’s not worth the effort for them. They can undoubtedly climb walls, as they are excellent hitchhikers, but will always choose the easier path.


If you thought the first “E” of the SLEEP theory was important, you haven’t seen anything yet. The second E is just as equally important if not more important. It is also another offensive attack, and it means to examine your luggage, but it means to examine them on the day before heading home. This is something you can also do upon your arrival at your home, but if you go this route, you’ll want to make sure that you empty your belongings in the garage or basement and scour them for bed bugs. Be sure to even check the new clothes you bought, as they are not impervious to an infestation either.


The last step of the theory ties everything together nicely. Without it, the entire process wouldn’t be very effective. Anyways, it is another offensive approach to bed bugs, and it means to place your clothes in the washer and wash them in hot water. After that, dry them using the hottest heat settings possible. Bed bug’s bodies cannot stand up to specific amounts of heat. When exposed to temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for 29 minutes or more, the bug’s organs will begin to shut down and die. This is virtually what you are doing when exposing them to this type of heat.

Know The Risk Of A Traveler

All travelers are at risk of a bed bug encounter. However, travelers visiting high-risk locations, such as developing countries, metropolis cities, and overcrowded tourist destinations. Heeding SLEEP will only do so much to keep you and your personal assets safe from bed bugs. If you are not open-minded, SLEEP will be useless.

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