Probably one of the most annoying travel pests after mosquitos. Bed Bugs are hard to find because you only ever find the bites long after they’ve gone. The actual pain from the bite doesn’t kick in until the chemicals it leaves to delay the kick in wear off and you start the itch from hell. For a lot of people it can ruin their entire travel buzz and it’s not hard to see why. These little pests are small and get absolutely everywhere. However, having suffered from this on two occasions, if you find yourself riddled with bites after a nights rest, I’m going to help you get through this step by step.

Firstly, you want to know if you actually have bed bugs or if it’s something entirely different. You can expect to see small red raised marks and the usual characteristic of their formation. Usually, bed bugs like to eat in much the same way we do: breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can see lines of bites close to one another in rows of 2-3 each. You may notice a new bites after you get up in the morning, maybe even after you’ve had breakfast the itch will kick in. If this is you, lets kill them and quick.

Things you’ll need:

1 – Bin bags
2 – Access to a laundrette
3 – Wet wiped
4 – Big Spray

Step 1 – Get everything you have out of the room and place it in an open space away from other people, luggage and clothes. Make sure you tell the receptionist of your accommodation there are bed bugs or someone else could fall victim too. Be a good backpacker and give them a chance to sort it out. Request a new room and inspect in great detail the seems, sheets and everything else for the little critters before going anywhere near it with your luggage.

Step 2 – Place all your clothes into a large bin bag and seal it shut. This is your laundry bag, separate it from the rest and leave it to one side.

Step 3 – Start collecting anything you don’t need: receipts, tissue, books, magazines and anything where they can hide out and lurk until ready to pounce once more. Be strict here, you want to make sure these guys are gone, try not to be too sentimental. Put it all in another bin bag. This is your disposal bag.

Step 4 – Next, you want to preserve any small valuables for deep cleaning. This is stuff like you e reader, medicines, small gadgets and other items that you need to hold onto. Put these in another bag for a thorough inspection later.

Step 5 – Head to the laundry and wash/dry everything at the highest temperature possible. Put your clothes on dry for at least 30 minutes. It’s the heat that you want. It’s what kills them and the more heat, the less likely they are to survive. Do not put the clean/dry clothes back into the same bag. Use a new clean one, free of bugs and eggs.

Step 6 – Take your frame out of the backpack and wash/dry this too. If the frame doesn’t come out too easy, you can spray it down with bug spray. Be thorough and get into every pocket, seem, zipper and fold. These little critters can get absolutely everywhere so you need to pay attention to detail.

Step 7 – Use the wet wipes and big spray to go through your deep clean bag, item by item until everything is cleaned and inspected.

Step 8 – Reframe your bag, pack it back up. Don’t place your bag on any carpet floors, beds or in rooms that smell rather stale. Keep it raised off the ground on a wooden chair or desk to avoid infestation again.

Tips:

-Use a small torch to inspect the bed and surrounding areas before agreeing to take the room for the night.
-If no access to a drier, put all the clothes in a plastic bag and leave in direct sunlight (high temperatures only) for a day or two.
-Head to the chemist and pick up hydrocortisone as it can stop the itching. Tea Tree oil may also help if you are looking for a natural approach

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