Gearing up for spring break travel? Here are tips to avoid mosquitoes and bed bugs on vacation

As you pack your bags and jet-off to a warm location for spring break vacation, Zika Virus and bed bugs may be greeting you upon your arrival. Zika Virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, is prevalent in popular spring break destinations and is an ongoing threat that travelers should be aware of. In addition to Zika Virus, bed bugs are also a pest to be aware of while traveling as they can be found in hotels across the globe and can easily hitch a ride back home if you are not careful. To avoid these risk pests, read the tips below so you can relax on your spring break trip.

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Zika Virus

As we reported in our previous post, Zika Virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Infected mosquitoes are spreading the virus throughout popular spring break destinations, including the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. The Zika Virus can cause illness in those who are bitten that can last for several days. The virus also has a possible link to microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with brain damage and unusually small heads. Currently, there is no vaccine or medicine to treat Zika Virus. With recent outbreaks continuing, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the U.S. will likely increase.

 

Below are some tips to protect yourself from mosquitoes while on spring break:

  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when the majority of mosquitoes are most active.
  • It is best to use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus when outdoors. If possible, wear long pants and sleeves and minimize outside activity between dawn and dusk.
  • If traveling outside of the U.S., it is especially important to wear effective insect repellents and protective clothing.  Mosquito-borne diseases that may be rare in the U.S. are common in many foreign countries.

Bed Bugs

Now that you know how to protect yourself from mosquitos outdoors, bed bugs are the pest to be aware of indoors. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 74% of pest control professionals reported encountering bed bug infestations in hotels and motels across the globe. Bed bugs are hitch-hikers as they can crawl into luggage and on to clothing and can easily spread with close contact. Although bed bugs do not carry diseases, they can be difficult and expensive to eliminate. Bed bugs can turn a relaxing vacation into a nightmare, especially if they return home with you.

 

Below are some prevention methods to avoid bed bugs while on spring break and arriving home:

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking by checking behind the headboard, next to the baseboard and behind the night stand
  • Use a flashlight when looking for bed bugs for the best visibility
  • Check the mattress and box spring seams for signs of bed bugs
  • Do not pile clothes or shoes next to or on the bed
  • Notify the property management if you see anything suspicious
  • Inspect your suitcases thoroughly before bringing them into the house and consider storing suitcases in a garage, not inside the home
  • Wash all clothes, even those items that were not worn, in hot water and dry on high heat to remove any bed bugs or eggs that may have traveled home
  • Place shoes, backpacks and dry clean only clothes in dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes after your trip
  • Set luggage away from walls and the bed

Hopefully these tips keep you away from mosquitoes and bed bugs as you enjoy your fun in the sun! Contact Wil-Kil for more information.

For more information, please visit: http://www.wil-kil.com/mosquito-control, http://www.pestworld.org/news-and-views/pest-health-hub/posts/zika-virus-what-you-need-to-know/ or http://www.wil-kil.com/bed-bug-services

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