We all love summer—the time of vacations, beautiful weather, weddings, family gatherings, and barbecues. However, humans aren’t the only creatures who tend to call summer their favorite season. Many other animals do too, and unfortunately, bed bugs are one of them, and they may love it even more than we do.
And for bed bugs, summer can mean more than just pleasant weather and family get-togethers. “Heat accelerates a bed bug’s lifecycle,” says entomologist Gil Bloom, who also runs a New York City-based extermination company, Standard Pest Management. “In sixty-four degree weather it takes around four months for an egg to turn into a mature adult; in eighty degrees it only takes a month and a half, making the bugs more plentiful and infestations more common.”
Indeed, summer’s appeal to humans largely explains its appeal to these particular pests. We travel much more frequently during summer, and bed bugs often seek suitable homes by latching onto unsuspecting tourists. In addition, heat and humidity are the most suitable climate for bed bug feeding and breeding.
Of course, you should always check online bed bug registry resources to make sure hotels you use are free of the pests. Inspect your mattresses anyway, before you bring your bags inside. If you find traces of the bugs, you would do well to cancel your reservations and ask the hotel to take action.
Be careful of purchasing or sitting on furniture of uncertain origin! As bed bugs are on the prowl in the summer, it is natural that abandoned and worn-down furniture can be attractive lurking spots for the bugs.
When traveling, pay special attention to your luggage. Pack your clothing in large suitcases or bags that seal completely shut. When bringing the bags back home, inspect them closely before you even bring them back inside!
After verifying that your luggage is clean of visible signs, vacuum off your suitcases and bags, and wash all of the clothes you packed. Besides simply being good hygiene, this is the surest way to wipe out bugs and their traces from your belongings.
It’s going to be a hot summer, and we’ll all be eager to go out and have some fun in the sun. But be sure to stay safe, and whether you’re picnicking, travelling, or lounging on a sofa, you can always benefit from being on your guard about the risks and warning signs of bed bug activity.