Arrow Exterminators Blog

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pests Looking To Hitch a Ride This Spring Break

Cindy Mannes

Spring is finally here, which means many people will be departing on spring break vacations. While it is thoughtful to bring home gifts for friends and family, at Arrow Exterminators, we always warn our customers against bringing home unwanted "souvenirs."

Bed bugs, fleas and ants are all common "hitchhiking" pests that travelers can encounter during their getaways. And, with the population of these pests on the rise, they are more prevalent than ever before. Here are some helpful tips on how to help prevent these pests from catching a ride home with you!

As we shared in our pest predictions blog post earlier this year ("Arrow's 2011 Pest Predictions"), bed bugs continue to be a big problem throughout the country due to increased international travel. Nocturnal in nature and extremely hard to find, they can hide pretty much anywhere, including mattresses, bed frames, suitcases, boxes and shoes. Before you settle in to your hotel room, inspect mattress seams and headboards closely for signs of bedbugs, and check bedding for blood spots. If bed bugs are detected, request to be moved to another room and, to a different floor if possible. When returning home, inspect and vacuum suitcases before bringing inside and wash all clothing in hot water - whether worn or not!

Fleas are another pest that can take a bite out of spring break fun. Many of our customers are often surprised to learn that fleas can affect more than the family pet. Fleas are attracted to any warm-blooded host, including humans. Similar to bedbugs, they know how to hitch a ride, quickly attaching to clothing, shoes and luggage. To avoid flea infestations, make sure your hotel room is vacuumed daily.

Last, but certainly not least, ants also make the list of common spring break pests. There are more than 700 different species of ants in the United States alone, so trust us when we say there are bound to be ants wherever you are vacationing. While the majority of ants are considered nuisance pests, there are a few that can put a damper on spring break fun. For example, Red Imported Fire Ants can leave behind painful, raised welts on their victims. To prevent an ant infestation, make sure all food is stored in sealed containers and that trashcans are emptied daily.

So remember, whether traveling on a family vacation or a college spring break trip, use these simple tips to prevent bed bugs, fleas and ants from becoming your unwanted "souvenir."