Frequent travelers are at the highest risk of a bed bug encounter than any other group of people. It is unfortunate for travelers who spend a lot of time in motels, inns, and other rest stops. Bed bugs grow up to 3/16 of an inche in length. The body is the shape of an apple seed. The abdomen expands after each feeding and shrinks several hours later.
The bed bug diet consists of blood from humans and animals, with the former the more preferred. Feeding is every 3 to 7 days, depending on the life cycle phase and availability of blood. As a parasite, the bed bug needs a living, breathing host. Whether it is human or animal does not matter, as long as it is a host.
Exterminators Helping People Stay Safe When Traveling
Being a frequent traveler comes with many responsibilities. The traveler’s primary responsibility is safety. While most people would assume the traveler’s biggest threat is a pickpocket thief, nothing could be further from the truth. In the last few years, temporary rental property managers have reported an increase in bed bug sightings. Unfortunately, most of the sightings are reported by tenants.
There are risks involved in bed bug sightings, especially when the reports are from tenants. Property managers must take these reports seriously, even if the sighting is reported by a passerby.
In the meantime, travelers are responsible for their own safety, where bed bugs are concerned. The main goal is to prevent becoming a victim of these insects. How is this possible? With the help of exterminators across Washington DC, travelers learn how to leave bed bugs, where they initially encounter them. Which, in most cases are motels, hotels, and other temporary rental facilities.
S.L.E.E.P – Survey, Lift, Elevate, Examine, And Place
Development of the acronym, S.L.E.E.P., helps travelers follow a learned process needed to keep them from unknowingly inviting bed bugs back to their homes. S.L.E.E.P. is extremely easy to learn and implement at each stay-over.
“S” – Survey
“S” is the first letter of the S.L.E.E.P. acronym. “Survey” is an important component of the process. The term reminds travelers to initiate a survey or observation of the motel room. Exterminators recommend the traveler take the time to complete an assessment of the motel room upon entry. It is recommended to complete a survey of the room upon each entry.
Regardless of the hotel’s customer rating, a survey should be performed as recommended. Initiate the survey by visually inspecting the room from top to bottom and in every nook and cranny.
Bed bugs are harmless insects. However, the insect has been described by former victims as a “nuisance.” The insect utilizes its mouthparts to penetrate its victim’s skin. To remain undetected throughout the feeding, saliva with numbing properties is applied in advance. Each feeding takes between 5 and 15 minutes to complete.
“L” – Lift
The second letter of the S.L.E.E.P. acronym, which represents the term “lift.” During this step of the process, it is important to carefully lift each item in the hotel. This mostly pertains to the bed linen – sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and bedspreads.
It is crucial to slowly lift each item to not disturb any potential bed bugs. A disruption could increase the bed bug activity, resulting in a sleepless night.
“E” – Elevate
The third letter of the S.L.E.E.P. acronym represents the term “elevate.” Now, each item in the hotel room has been carefully lifted. At this point, the lifted items should be elevated to eye level. While this may seem strange, the entire process, starting with the “S”, ending with the “P” is completed in a sequence within at least 20 minutes.
“E” – Examine
The fourth letter of the S.L.E.E.P. acronym represents the term “Examine.” At this point, the items are at eye level. Now, it is time to examine each item to determine if it is infested with bed bugs. This is a crucial step of the process because it plays a role in keeping the traveler safe on their journey.
“P” – Place
The fifth and last letter of the S.L.E.E.P. acronym represents the term “Place.” Each item has been carefully examined, now it is time to place it back in its original position. However, this step of the process takes bed bug safety to the next level. This step is implemented prior to the last exit from the motel room.
This is an optional step that is still highly recommended by all Washington DC exterminators. The step requires travelers to transport their clothing and other accessories to the hotel’s laundry room. Run the clothes through a 20-minute washing and 20-minute drying cycle. Select the maximum temperature setting, which should generate up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
Extermination of bed bugs requires at least 20 minutes of exposure to heat. If necessary or for peace of mind, it is recommended to extend the laundry cycle up to 30 minutes.