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Bedbugs and travel
Old 09-09-2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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Bedbugs and travel

Anyone getting a little edgy about bedbugs while traveling? It just freaks me out reading about the little critters and how they are multiplying.
I might stay home more even though I don't travel often.

I've even wondered about trying on clothes, going to movies or even the headrests on planes.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:55 AM   #2
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Count me as one. I travel a lot and am totally creeped out by this. Bed bugs and lice are real hazards....
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #3
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
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NPR had a good story on it - search their site.

Shave your head and it reduces the risk of lice.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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We picked up a case of bed bugs in 2008 and it wasn't pretty. We were fortunate in that we got a fairly early diagnosis and got professional treatment asap. However, the delay for us was the first pest company said there was nothing there though I was certain there was. Best $400 I ever spent was paying the second pest controller. Good story on the very subject in todays NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/bu...omepage&src=me
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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Funny but I was just thinking about that as I just booked a few days down in the Florida Keys. I'll be checking around pretty good once I arrive. I won't unpack till I'm satisified DW and I are the only ones in the room.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 AM   #7
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We picked up a case of bed bugs in 2008.
Were they on sale?

Ahhh sorry, couldn't let that one slip by...
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:46 AM   #8
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Shave your head and it reduces the risk of lice.
Oh...ok. All I have to do is spending $125K and shave my head?

Done!
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:49 AM   #9
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We picked up a case of bed bugs in 2008
I hear 2008 is a good vintage.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:33 PM   #10
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So far in all of my travels I have never seen nor (knowingly) picked up a bed bug. But I have been nervous about it (enough to study what they look like) especially when coming back from months of traveling in other countries to a relative's house in the USA.

It is not really clear to me what the true extent of the problem is. And whether perhaps the problem is not as bad outside of the USA east coast (particularly New York) where the stories seem to be originating.

Quote:
We picked up a case of bed bugs in 2008 and it wasn't pretty.
Do you know where they might have come from?

I have never even heard of anyone picking up head lice from traveling.

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Old 09-09-2010, 01:13 PM   #11
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You can carry a can of pump permethrin (One brand is Sawyer) and treat the mattress and pillows as discussed below:

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Does Permethrin work against bed-bugs?
Quote:
A. An area bomb which fumigates the room as a whole is usually recommended as the first line of defense against bed bugs. As you may not be in a position to bug bomb your hotel room while traveling abroad (without offending the natives), the following uses for Permethrin may help:
Spray treat at least the upper surfaces of your mattress when you first arrive, with 0.5% Sawyer® Permethrin Insect Repellent. Permethrin pump sprays are preferred because they are not restricted for airline travel. Allow the mattress to dry and air out before using it. Cover with a clean sheet for sleeping; do not sleep directly on the treated mattress. If you are concerned about the pillows, uncover them and lightly spray treat them with Permethrin also, re-covering them before use. Use 0.5% Permethrin spray as a residual surface insecticide for cracks and crevices around the room, and as a light spray on stuffed furniture, carpeting, and other fabrics around your sleeping quarters, where bed bugs and other crawling insects may hide.
Some of the information on bed-bugs was extrapolated from Maine University's Pest Management's Fact Sheet on Bed-Bugs at http://pmo.umext.maine.edu/factsht/bedbugs.htm.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:47 PM   #12
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Okay, this does make me want to stay in the RV or the boat for pretty much any future travel plans! Yikes!

My sister once got scabies from a cheap hotel room in Paris, decades ago. She's very fastidious and it grossed her out completely.
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:22 PM   #13
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My son had them in his mattress in an apartment he shares with another guy. Apparently the other guy was "given" some bedroom furniture, in which the BB's were "hiding". He had marks all over his legs, and it took several trips to the doctor to determine what they were caused by.

Their respective mattresses/box springs had to be discarded and they had to sleep in the living room while the bedroom was treated over three days.

We bought encasement wraps (plastic, with zippers) made to cover the new mattress/box spring to avoid further problems.

As for our travels? We do not bring our suitcases or travel bags into the house when we return from a trip. Our clothes are unpacked in the garage and either washed or sent to the cleaner immediately upon return (not that they may have been infested, but luggage does travel in pairs so you don't know who yours is aside of in the baggage area of any airplane/ship).

We store the travel bags in the attic (above the garage) till the next trip. If the critters don't have anything to eat (e.g. blood), they die after a period of time. We do bring the luggage into the house to pack for the next trip, but that's done immediately before the trip.

BTW, other than Paris, Texas how would you get an RV to Paris, France?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:16 PM   #14
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...If the critters don't have anything to eat, they die.
I've read that they can live for more than a year without a meal.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:31 PM   #15
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I've read that they can live for more than a year without a meal.
How does one acquire that sort of metabolism?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #16
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I've read that they can live for more than a year without a meal.
"Bed bugs can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days"

Reference:
Bed Bug Management Guidelines--UC IPM

Also, young ones go through a 5-cycle molt to adulthood, and must "eat" between each molt. That means that any "hitchikers" you may have in your luggage/clothes will not support any "newborns" ...
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:11 PM   #17
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"Bed bugs can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days"

Reference:
Bed Bug Management Guidelines--UC IPM

Also, young ones go through a 5-cycle molt to adulthood, and must "eat" between each molt. That means that any "hitchikers" you may have in your luggage/clothes will not support any "newborns" ...
Hmmm...I just found this on Wikipedia:

"Although bedbugs can live for a year without feeding,[14] they normally try to feed every five to ten days."

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Old 09-09-2010, 04:19 PM   #18
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Actually I believe they can lie dormant for up to 180 days without feeding. When we had em, they never once feasted on DH, but they would attack me regular as clockwork every 7 days. If you ever do suspect you have, do not move rooms as they will move rooms with the one they love. Don't go thinking hiding your cases in the attic will protect you, they will move their little hiney's to be within sucking distance of their victim.

We suspected that they came from a friends rental condo which made it awkward. With a hotel it is easy to pick up the phone and tell em you are infested. We let the friends know that we had been unfortunate enough to acquire bed bugs, saying we were not sure where they came from.
When I now travel I make a point of never leaving my luggage unzipped, never put it on the floor and if there is room, leave it in the bathroom.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:26 PM   #19
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...there is room, leave it in the bathroom.
Yes - a good suggestion suggested by many travel sites, assuming you have the room.

On a cruise (where the bags are usually under the bed) it becomes a bit more difficult.

We tried leaving them on the balcony on our last cruise, but they were washed overboard (just kidding )...
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:15 PM   #20
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I stay in hotel rooms 60 or so nights per year. Never had an issue.

I don't know if bed bugs are becoming a bigger problem. I do have strong suspicions about the challenge to everyone's mental well-being posed by scary journalism, though.
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