Thinking about getting back on the road now that the COVID regulations are letting up a bit? You are not the only one, as many families alike across the United States are traveling far and wide. It must have been the months of isolation that made some people realize they were missing out. Whatever the situation, there is no denying that traveling is an excellent experience, providing opportunities for a lot of things.
You’ll not only have fun while bonding with the family or your travel companions. But, you can potentially learn some interesting things about yourself as well as history and new cultures. Of course, some related traveling risks still exist today. And believe it or not, one of the most notable risks is a bed bug
encounter. Learn to apply and live by the SLEEP theory, you might just be able to minimize these risks.
It goes without saying that the first step of the SLEEP theory is the “S”, which represents surveying. Survey the room that you will be calling home for the next couple of days. Whether in a five-star hotel or a hostel, you will want to take the same precautions. Bed bugs
have been found in some of the cleanest homes in the world, as they are not discriminatory creatures.
Never assume wealth or cleanliness are attached to this bug because they are not. Always perform a quick, visual inspection of your hotel
room or sleeping quarters before just blindly unpacking your belongings and making yourself at home. Look for stains on the sheets and keep your nostrils open for sweet, musty odors, as these will be surefire signs of an infestation.
LIFT And LOOK
This one is pretty much a continuation of the surveying step, but it just takes things a bit further. Instead of just doing a visual inspection, it means to get in there and physically root around. Flip the mattresses, check under the box spring, remove the pillowcases and turn them inside out, and check behind the drapes. It’ll be much more effective if you know all the potential hiding spots for these bugs. Just remember they possess the ability to squeeze their bodies into some of the tightest and tiniest cracks and crevices in the world, so this will not be an easy or quick task.
There are two “Es” in the SLEEP theory, but this first one is a bit different than what most people think. And, it’s pretty smart when you think about it. Hotels usually have luggage racks or some type of wall apparatus, where guests can place their luggage. These components allow guests to elevate their luggage off the floor.
You’ll want to make sure to utilize this upon entering the room. Bed bugs
are excellent hitchhikers, but they only like to take the patch of least resistance. Forcing them to climb up the walls to get to your luggage might make the effort seem too much. These bugs are not lazy, but they will go out of their way to avoid detection. This is also not to say that they won’t climb up the wall and attach to your luggage. This is just a step to make the process harder and less likely.
The second “E” is equally important, but this one means something else entirely. It means to examine your luggage before heading home. This is pretty ingenious in itself when you think about it. Just because you’ve been in a room or hotel for a week or more without experiencing any issues with bed bugs. This does not necessarily mean you have not experienced at least one encounter.
Some people’s immune systems do not react to bed bug
bites. So, it is entirely possible you have been victimized by bed bugs
without your knowledge. That being said, it is crucial to properly and thoroughly examine your luggage before heading home. This is something you can do upon arrival at your home without delay.
We do not recommend entering the home without a thorough examination of your assets.
The last step of the process is “p” for placement. And, it also applies to the return trip home. This one is more of an offensive attack more than anything else. It’s a well-known fact that bed bugs
cannot stand up against heat. When exposed to a specific amount of heat for certain times, these bugs will dehydrate out and die. This is why it helps to wash your clothes and belongings in hot water upon arriving home. After doing this, you can then dry them on the highest heat
setting possible. This should be enough heat to kill any bugs that found their way to your belongings. This is something you can even do with any new clothes you bought during your travels. When it comes to bed bugs, never make assumptions!