Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Carmel on the Case: Bed Bugs
As we head into one of the biggest travel weeks of the year experts say no matter where you go you should be on the lookout for bed bugs. The blood sucking bugs are infesting hotel rooms, movie theaters and even retail stores across the country. Seven's Carmel Cafiero is on the case and goes to the experts to find out how to inspect hotel rooms to make sure there are no uninvited guests.
WSVN -- Experts say from high end hotels to road side motels, travelers need to be worried about bed bugs.
Greg Rice: "They're moving around the world in record numbers now."
We took bug man Greg Rice of Hulett Environmental Services to a hotel with a history of bed bug problems.
Greg Rice: "This is a great place for bed bugs to hide."
He says #1: Never put your bags on the beds or any furniture within ten feet of the beds. #2: Always travel with a flashlight to help you search the room, start with the night stand.
Greg Rice: "Take the drawer out of the night stand do an inspection."
Look at seams on the drawer and then check the stand itself.
Greg Rice: "What you are looking for is small black bugs that are about the size of an apple seed. What you're also looking for is fecal matter in other words bed bug poop."
Next, inspect everything on the night stand.
Greg Rice: "Another great hiding spot is in a hollow lamp."
Clock radios phones even remote controls are good dark hiding spots for bed bugs.
Greg Rice: "Take the battery cover off. Maybe take the battery out."
Next, move on to the beds.
Greg Rice: "Pull the spreads back pull the mattress pad back. Here in the corners is a great hiding spot."
You want to look in the seams of the bed in the tufts of the mattress.
Greg Rice: "The head of the mattress is going to be more likely to find evidence than you will down here at the foot of the mattress."
You also need to check the box spring, pull it out from the wall and again check near the head. When we did that we found signs of an infestation.
Greg Rice: "Here we have right here, this is fecal matter from bed bugs."
And before we knew it several live bugs made an appearance.
Greg Rice: "Here is a live bedbug. This one recently had a blood meal. You can see how he or she has some what engorged. Had we not gone through the trouble of pulling this back away from the wall we probably would not have found this."
Greg says at the first sign of bedbugs you need to get out of that room.
Greg Rice: "Immediately take your suitcase and all your belongings and go down stairs and demand another room."
Make sure they don't give you a new room on either side or above or below the one you just left.
Greg Rice: "The bedbugs can travel through the electrical wiring to all the rooms that are adjacent to this room."
Carmel Cafiero: "And you can't stop worrying once you get home because bed bugs can travel from other passengers on a plane or their luggage."
So when you get home and if it's summer just leave your suitcase in the trunk, park your car in the sun for a full day and the heat will kill the bed bugs. In the winter, the sun isn't hot enough but there are other ways to protect yourself.
Greg Rice: "Take suitcase into your laundry room. Take everything whether you wore it or not and put it into the clothes dryer turn it on for 30 minutes on a higher temperature
You should also wrap your suitcase in a plastic garbage bag and store it away from your bedrooms. It may seem like a lot of work but Greg says the last thing you want is even one these little critters in your home.
Greg Rice: "They multiply so quick you can bring in just a few and in a months time you have thousands infesting your home."
A creepy thought that no doubt gave rise to the old expression "Don't let the bed bugs bite." Who would have thought it would apply in today's world.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY FOR CARMEL TO INVESTIGATE:
More Info at: http://www.bugs.com