How To Avoid Getting Holiday Bed Bugs

How To Avoid Getting Holiday Bed Bugs

If you could go back in time to stop something really bad from happening, would you do it? Of course you would. It is a lot easier to prevent something from happening than it is to fix things “after” they have happened. This is the secret to avoiding holiday bed bugs. No. We’re not saying you need to build a time machine. That would be complicated, if not slightly impossible. What we’re saying is that bed bugs are a problem that is best dealt with “before” it happens. Here’s what you need to know.

If you knew that a certain person would be hit by a certain car on a certain day, what would you do? Would you warn them? What if you knew how and where your friend or family could pick up bed bugs, would you tell them?

When you tell your friends and family about bed bugs, you will not only be protecting yourself from an accidental infestation, you’ll be protecting them as well. Public awareness is the most powerful weapon in the war against bed bugs.

3 Places Bed Bugs Get Picked Up During The Holidays

  • Sleep accommodations. It doesn’t matter how nice or how clean, bed bugs can be found in places where people sleep. If your friends and family will be staying somewhere on their way to your home, it is important that they do a quick inspection of any room they stay in. Use a flashlight to inspect bedding, sheets, pillowcases, mattress seams, and the stitching on upholstered furniture for black streaks, fecal pellets, brown blood staining, and shed insect casings.
  • Public transportation. Bed bugs have been found infesting trains, planes, buses, taxis, and other public transportation. Your family members should know what a bed bug looks like when they see one, and they should take a moment to examine their chair for black streaks, blown stains, and shed insect casings. In enclosed spaces, there may be a locker room smell if a large enough infestation is present.
  • Homes. If your friends and family will be staying the night with other friends and family, or at the home of a host family, they should take the same precautions as staying in a hotel or motel.

It is a whole lot easier to stop a bed bug infestation before it begins. Let your family and friends know what to look for when they travel.
If you ever find bed bugs in your home–and you don’t have a time machine–call a professional. These pests are nearly impossible to remove without an entomological understanding of these insects and what modern pest measures are most effective for eradicating them.

If you are in our Knoxville, Gatlinburg or elsewhere in our Tennessee service area, let Russell’s Pest Control assist you. Our team is BedbugFREE Approved by Bedbug Central, the most authoritative information resource on bed bugs in the country. When holiday bed bugs find a way in, get them out with bed bug control services from Russell’s Pest Control.

Pest Control Risks In Christmas Decorations

Pest Control Risks In Christmas Decorations

It is that time of year again. Time to dig out the boxes of Christmas decorations from the back of the closet, attic, or basement. After being out of sight and out mind for an entire year there are often a lot of surprises- ornaments, decorations, and memories that you forgotten about. But, if you are not careful there could be other surprises in those boxes as well- insects, rodent nests and other creepy critters that have made your holiday decorations their home over the last year. Yikes!

Here at Russell’s Pest Control we don’t want you to have any unpleasant surprises. Here is some information and tips to help make sure that when you bring out your holiday decoration this year, you are only introducing glitter, shine and holiday joy into your home, and not pest and their debris and diseases.

Tips for the pest-free unpacking of your Christmas decorations:

  • After digging out the decorations and ornaments, if the weather permits, place the boxes outside to unpack. This way if any pests have made their way into those boxes over the winter, they will hopefully scurry away outside, instead of under your couch.

  • Before digging into these boxes, inspect them. If you notice chew marks, feces, or other signs of pest activity, it is a very good indicator that you have a pest problem somewhere in your home and that action needs to be taken. Getting help will not only take care of your current infestation but will allow the steps to be taken to prevent future issues with pests.

  • Inspect ornaments and decorations for signs of being chewed on, breakage, and other damages. Any ornaments, lights, or decorations that have been damaged by pests, age, or accidents should be thrown away because they can be a safety risk.

  • After you unpacked your Christmas decorations from cardboard boxes, throw those boxes out! Go to the store and purchase plastic containers with tight fitting lids to store your decorations and ornaments back into. This small step will help a lot to prevent pests from getting into and ruining your decorations in the future.

  • If you will be purchasing and placing real wreaths or Christmas trees into your home you should first inspect them for pest activity. Check trees or wreaths for insect activity and shake them out before bringing them into your home. Don’t give insects and pests an open door and ride into your home.

After unpacking your decorations this Christmas season, hanging your wreaths and trimming your tree, if you notice any possible signs of pest activity the pros here at Russell’s Pest Control are eagerly awaiting your call. Our experts can inspect your home, eliminate any infestation through our safe and effective treatments, and provide follow-up services through our home pest control services. We want to work with you to make sure that your home is pest free, your family is healthy and that your holidays are merry and bright!

Tips For Pest Prevention During The Holidays

As families get into the holiday spirit, digging out decorations and unpacking strands of twinkling lights, it is important to be aware of unwanted guests. Pests can make their way into your home via boxes of ornaments, fresh-cut Christmas trees, wreathes and even firewood.

Ants and spiders can easily hide in the branches of trees and crevices of firewood, while mice can chew through cardboard boxes of decorations that have been stored away since last season. Unfortunately, these pests can pose serious health threats, from food contamination to the spread of disease, should they find a way inside.

Russell’s Pest Control advises homeowners to carefully inspect these items for pests before bringing them inside the home. Here are some tips The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends during the holidays:

  • Inspect live, fresh-cut, evergreen trees, wreathes and garlands for spiders, insect nests or eggs before purchasing. Shake greenery outdoors to remove any pests before bringing them inside.

  • Unpack decorations outdoors so pests aren’t released into the home. Repack decorations in durable, sealed containers that pests can’t chew through.

  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home on a raised structure, such as concrete blocks or poles.

  • If you suspect a pest infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect, identify and treat the problem.

(At The Risk Of Being Trite) Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite, Part 1

At Russell’s, we know that many of our customers may be traveling for the holidays, so it might be time to discuss the high-profile topic of bed bugs. Our intention isn’t to cause anxiety, but we want you to be able to visit out-of-towners without bringing any home with you. So, this will be a two-part series. In this post, I’ll discuss some quick tips to protect you if you’re staying in hotels. Next time, I’ll discuss some facts (and fictions) about bed bugs that may help you to avoid them in your daily life.

Everyone wants to know how to tell if bed bugs are in a hotel room. This suggestion may sound a little daunting, but I think that your first line of defense is to ask the hotel employee when you book your room whether they have rooms quarantined for bed bugs. Several people have told me that is rude, but I disagree. You don’t have to attack or accuse; simply ask if they’re having a problem. If they say they do have rooms quarantined, you don’t necessarily have to change hotels. Ask for a room far from the affected area. Bed bugs aren’t long-range pests; their presence in one room doesn’t doom the whole hotel. They will stay put as long as they can obtain consistent meals. This makes it much easier for a pest control company to isolate and eliminate a problem quickly. However, you should always think of bed bugs in three dimensions. You don’t want to be directly next to them or above or below them.

After you check in, go up to your room before bringing anything inside; if you bring a purse with you, don’t lay it down on the ground until you’ve inspected the room. The most well-known signs of bed bugs are small reddish-brown stains in the seams of the mattress; those stains are the bed bugs’ waste (i.e. old blood). Pull up the fitted sheet and have a look at the little ties and grooves on the mattress top, and don’t hesitate to ask an employee if you find something that concerns you.

We recommend getting creative with your luggage. Don’t just pile it in a corner next to the wall. Bed bugs commonly hide under baseboards during the day before emerging at night to feed. Placing your luggage in an out-of-the-way corner gives them easy access to hitch a ride. Oddly enough, a good place for it is the bathroom. Bed bugs are less likely to inhabit the bathroom since they want easy access to their prey in the bed. Also, you can leave the light on in the restroom full-time. Since bed bugs are nocturnal creatures, light will naturally decrease their activity. Some of our inspectors recommend keeping luggage in the bathtub at night. Most bugs have a lot of trouble climbing up and down those sloped tub walls. They may be less likely to pursue your luggage into the bathtub, and you would be more likely to see them if they do.

With the publicity that bed bugs are getting, people have a lot of questions. We understand that sometimes travelers need an expert to talk to for good advice or some peace of mind. You can always contact us with questions, whether you are in need of service or not. Feel free to call or contact us here. We’ll get you the answers that you need as quickly as possible.