Bedbugs: What you need to know to avoid bedbugs on vacation

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – As you head out for your vacation this summer, be vigilant about checking for bedbugs. Pest control professionals report that a majority of their business is treating hotels.

Bedbugs can be found anywhere, from luxury hotels to a summer camp. Imagine you’re on that vacation you have looked forward to, only to wake up your first morning covered in bedbug bites. The insects are so tiny, they’re difficult to see, but the bites are painful.

Bedbugs can be found almost everywhere

Experts say bedbugs like to hide out in mattresses near the bed boards. Dr. Brittany Campbell is an entomologist. She studies insects for the National Pest Management Association.

FILE – Bedbug (AP)

“We found that 97 percent of pest control professionals were treating for bedbugs in the United States,” Campbell said. “They can be found, I know this is surprising, but almost anywhere. They will bite you. Their bite can cause an allergic reaction. It can cause a skin reaction. Everyone’s immune system is different., but you can have an allergic reaction. In severe cases, those reactions can create blisters.”

Campbell says bedbugs are resilient creatures. They’ve developed resistance to some of the pesticides we have on the market now.   

“They’re very difficult to control yourself, so I really encourage you to reach out to a professional,” she said.

Killing bedbugs isn’t easy

Mark Nadolski with Russell’s Pest Control says bedbugs hide in the smallest places in and around beds and box springs, and killing them isn’t easy. 

“Well, the surefire way now is heat. If we can get the temperature inside a room or facility up above 105 degrees, we can kill the eggs, the infants and the adults. There are some sprays that work for bedbugs. They work fairly well,” he said.

Campbell explained what people should do when they get to their hotel rooms.

How to check for bedbugs in a hotel

“I would really encourage you to go to the bed, pull down the sheets. Go all the way down to the mattress. Look in the mattress seams. That’s where bed bugs are going to hide,” she said.

If you find bedbugs in your room while on vacation, take a picture of them to show to the manager and insist on another room. If you think you have brought the bugs home with you from your vacation, it’s best to get professional help to zap an infestation.

Bedbug, on display Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. (AP)

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