It is, unfortunately, not something a lot of people want to hear, but the truth of the matter is that not all travel is glamorous and social media worthy. Budget travelers, backpackers, and some unfortunate vacationers may find themselves facing unpleasant situations. Even people staying in five-star hotels could find themselves facing the same unnerving circumstances with the recent resurgence of bed bugs. Bed bugs are back, and they are back in a big way. They are severely impacting the hospitality industry. If you plan on traveling, your best defense is to arm yourself with essential tools. One such essential tool is the SLEEP theory.
This one is probably obvious, but you’d still be surprised at the number of people that are blindly moving into hostels and hotel rooms without first checking them for signs of bed bugs. This is the first and biggest mistake you can make when traveling. By taking the time to visually inspect the room, you can make a big difference and greatly reduce the likelihood that you’re going to take bedbugs home with you. Look for reddish-brown stains on the sheets, and smell for musty, sweet odors, as both could be huge indicators that bed bugs are in the room.
LIFT And LOOK
On to the second part of the theory! This one is pretty much a continuation of the visual inspection. However, it means to get in there and physically inspect the room you will be calling home for the next couple of nights. Move closer to the bed, flip the mattress, pull the pillowcases off, check under the box springs, and raise the carpet and rugs if you can. This might seem a bit excessive. Nevertheless, it will make a big difference in the long run. If you find any signs that the room has bedbugs, it is pertinent to ask for a replacement. Alternatively, you should move to a new motel.
There are two Es in the SLEEP theory, but the first one starts the offensive approach. It represents elevation and what it means is to elevate your luggage while you scour the room. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers with the ability to crawl up walls and on ceilings. However, they oftentimes are a path of less resistance bug, meaning they will take the easiest route possible. Plus, they want to avoid detection. Placing your luggage up high while you scour the room might make the risk too great for the bug. If you simply place the luggage on the ground, they can easily crawl over undetected and make themselves right at home. This isn’t quite the case when you elevate your luggage.
On to the second E of the theory, which is examination. Remember that this one applies to the return trip. It means to physically exam your luggage before heading back home. Just because you’ve stayed in a room for a week and didn’t experience any bed bug symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that your items aren’t potentially infested. You could be carrying the bugs and don’t even know it. Therefore, it pays to take the time to check all your belongings before packing up and heading home. This is something you can do when you return home, but if you go this route, you’ll want to make sure you empty the clothes into the basement or garage.
For the best results, be sure to check your bag before you leave the motel and when you make it home.
You’ve finally made it to the last step of the process. You’ve come a long way, but you cannot ignore the last step of the process. The last stage of the SLEEP theory represents placement. What it means is to place your belongings in the washer and wash them in hot water. You’ll then want to follow this up by drying the items on the hottest heat settings possible. Bed bugs cannot survive extreme temperatures and exposing them to these temperatures for extended periods will cause their bodies to dehydrate thus shutting down their vital organs.
Taking these steps will make it harder for bedbugs to invade your home. Still, it could happen. Be ready to contact an exterminator because you never know when you’re going to find bedbugs in your home.