We all know how disgusting and traumatic bed bugs can be. They cause anxiety, panic and can be extremely difficult to get rid of. They seem to infect every corner of the Earth and love a good trip. The key to never getting bed bugs is understanding how to search, identify and prevent them. This bed bug prevention guide provided by Bed Bug Force NYC illustrates some of the basic precautions to take when traveling and how to handle your luggage upon arrival at hotels and when you're coming home.
Obviously, to be able to prevent bed bugs you need to know what they look like and how to identify them. The main ways to identify if there is a bed bug problem is by looking around the bed and mattress seams for black specks that seem to resemble pepper flakes. These are bed bug feces and are a sure sign that there is a bed bug presence. Bed bugs themselves are rather flat with a slight elliptical shape to them with a reddish-brown color. They are usually no bigger than an apple seed in size.
There are some basic things you should do before embarking on your trip like:
Pack a flashlight - You'll need one to inspect for bed bugs in your hotel room and around the bed where you plan on sleeping.
Use a hardshell or collapsible suitcase - Hardshells usually are easy to clean and don't have seams where bed bugs can hide. If a hard-shell isn't possible than a collapsible type suitcase is another option as these can be washed easily upon arriving home.
Bring a plastic bag (optional) - If you want to be extra careful, bring a large garbage bag to put your suitcase in during your trip. This will make it even more difficult for bed bugs to get into your luggage.
Read reviews carefully - Of course doing your due diligence on any place you plan on staying in is paramount. Any reviews that mention bed bugs should be taken seriously. Avoid any place with reviews mentioning bed bugs at any point during the establishment's history, even if the review is old.
Upon arriving at your hotel, hostel or wherever you're staying immediately put your luggage in a bathroom during the inspection process. Bathrooms are much safer to store your luggage in since they are usually full of slippery surfaces and tiles that bed bugs do not like. This will give you some time to inspect your room thoroughly before bringing your luggage into the actual hotel room main area.
You'll want to be as thorough as possible with your inspection of your room. Areas you'll want to check are:
Once you've determined that room is clear, you can bring your luggage out from the bathroom into your room. Even though you may think that you are clear if you didn't see anything during your inspection, you still want to be careful. Keep all of your luggage off of the floors, preferably on a desk or table that can't easily be climbed up on from the ground.
Bed bugs are hitchhikers and they love to travel. That means that they can also end up in rental cars and get into any items you may have stored in the trunk or inside the car. After picking up your rental, do a quick sweep of the trunk, inside and tire areas to ensure there are no bed bugs hiding out in the rental. Check under spare tires as well for any remnants of past or present bed bug infestations.
Never assume that you came home bed-bug free. It's always best to assume that you DID come home with bed bugs and get in the habit of handling your items as such upon arriving home. Some basic things to do when you're coming home from your trip include:
Wash all your clothing in hot water. Even the clothing you didn't wear. - If any bed bugs slipped in during any point of your trip, they will be killed during the wash.
Before bringing your luggage into your home, do a thorough inspection outside with a flashlight and a keen eye. The last thing you want to do is bring a single bed bug into your home from not checking your luggage thoroughly. You'll want to inspect all necessary parts of your suitcase where bed bugs may be hiding such as:
After following these basic steps and educating yourself on how to identify bed bugs and prevent them, you'll be able to travel the world and have peace of mind knowing that your chances of bringing bed bugs home with you are very slim. Staying alert and being diligent in your efforts will ensure you have many safe travels that are free of bed bugs. Check out the infographic below that helps illustrate the bed bug prevention process. And of course for any bed bug related situations be sure to talk to an expert at Bulwark Exterminating for possible bed bug treatment options.
How’s this for a crazy vacation idea… Work on a farm, stay for free!
Thousands of farms across the United States, and throughout the World, invite travelers to volunteer in exchange for a free place to stay… meal(s) included.
Participating in a farm stay or host farm program is an incredible way to not only see the world on a budget, but learn more about the rural farming world around you!
It’s not a bed and breakfast.
It’s not a luxury vacation at a five star resort.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a farm stay program in which travelers agree to put in a few hours of work on a host farm in exchange for accommodation. No money is ever exchanged in the transaction.
WWOOFers, as they are referred to, will spend around half a day learning about and working sustainable agriculture, leaving the remainder of the day free to see the local sights of the area.
Participants in the program must be at least 18 years or older, and purchase a valid membership that runs $40.00. Membership will give volunteers access to the 2069 farms currently participating in the WWOOF program.
If you are a traveler who is looking to see the country, and save some serious money in the process, then a farm stay vacation may be what you’re looking for. Keep in mind that your room and board on the farm is a two-way transaction. You will be required to put some time in on the farm; the amount being determined by each participating host farm. Typically, a half day of work is what most host farms require.
You may be asked to pick vegetables, work with animals, tend to honeybees, bail hay, irrigate crops, milk cows, or even make wine. Essentially, you’ll be doing farm chores. The type of work you do is entirely dependent on the host farm you elect to stay at and their particular needs at that time.
When selecting a host farm to stay and work at, it’s imperative that you look carefully though the information listed for each farm; and make sure to check with the owners beforehand exactly how much time each day you will be expected to contribute. Please keep in mind that staying at a host farm is considered compensation for the work you do, and no additional monetary compensation will be offered.
WWOOFing is a way to learn practical farming skills, be part of the organic agriculture movement, and experience the heart of American agrarian culture; all while getting a serious vacation discount. If you are looking to bring children along, it’s also a great way to teach them the value of hard work while still having some fun along the way.
There are currently 2069 farms participating in the farm stay program in the United States alone. If you have your heart set on vacationing somewhere in particular, chances are there is a participating farm near your desired destination. Here are just a few notable U.S. farm locales in which you can stay:
Unless you have a predetermined destination in mind for your farm excursion, the process of selecting among the 2069 farms that participate in the program can be pretty daunting. Fortunately, the WWOOF program lets interested party select farms based on their own specific criteria and desires. These include:
Duration of Visit. Stay at a farm for just one day, or long term. Most farms have opportunities that are only a week or two in duration, but there are some that let participants stay for one month, tow or three months, or even longer.
Number of Visitors. How many people are you bringing with you? Some farms can accommodate large families or groups, other cannot.
Type of Farm. Choose among dairy, garden, vegetable, livestock, vineyard, orchard, and homestead farms. Consider the type of work you might be required to do; be it picking grapes or helping milk cows.
Food. Select from farms that feed you vegan, vegetarian or traditional cuisine. Most farms serve breakfast; the available other meals depend on how the farm operates.
Lodging. Are you interested in sleeping in bedroom in the farmers home, a separate structure all together, a tent, or an RV?
Pets and Kids. Some farms will not let you bring your rugrats, or Fido. Make sure you check before booking your farm excursion.
In addition to WWOOF, there are also a couple other programs that are participating in the farm stay program. Workaway.info and helpx.net are also sites that list host farms or farmstays that are looking for short-term volunteers in exchange for food and accommodation.
If you are the adventurous type who wants a first hand farm experience; someone who wants to be a part of something bigger in the organic agriculture movement; someone who likes to work hard and play hard, then the staying at a host farm while vacationing is for you. You can save some serious dough and see these United States, or even the World, for a lot less.
If you are the vacationer that wants to separate work from pleasure, and wants to refrain from getting your hands dirty while on vacation; staying at a host farm my not be in your best interest.
A few of us here at Bulwark Exterminating think this is an awesome opportunity; so much so that we’re currently looking at a local farm here in Arizona that we’re going to do a one night stay at with our families. We’ll let you know how it goes!
As a homeowner, a termite infestation is one of your biggest fears. If it’s not, it should be. Termites cause more damage to homes in the United States than fires and storms combined. Even a small colony of termites can severely compromise the integrity of a home in just a short amount of time.
At the first signs of a termite infestation, there are a few things that you should and shouldn’t do to limit the damage these destructive pests can do to your home.
As a homeowner, here’s what to DO and what NOT to do after you discover termites in your home:
At first sign of a termite infestation, it’s best you call a professional; and not just any professional. You want a licensed professional that has years of expertise dealing with these destructive pests. You want a company that offers excellent customer service, and can schedule inspections and services around your busy schedule. You want Bulwark Exterminating and our professional termite solution.
Your home is one of your biggest investments. Don’t leave its protection to just anybody. Leave it to the preferred termite control professionals who are highly trained in all the leading termite pest control methods; the professionals that can provide all the best pest control options including baits, liquid baits, liquids, and monitoring stations.
Call Bulwark Exterminating for your termite solution today!
This week the NCAA basketball tournament gets underway, and over the next month the nation will be glued to their television sets; rooting for their alma-matters and cheering on the next 11-seed Cinderella as they advance to the sweet sixteen by taking down one of the big boys.
With March Madness in the air, us bug guys at Bulwark Exterminating thought we’d have a little fun by fielding a team of bug all-stars!
Just take a look at our all-star bug picks:
While the thought of fielding a team of Hakeem oSpiderwon, Tim dScorpion and Rajon Roacho is an amusing venture, there’s nothing amusing about having pests like spiders, scorpions, or roaches in your home!
If you are seeing pests of any kind in your home, call the pest control professionals at Bulwark Exterminating!
Romance is in the air, and love bugs are a buzz. Valentine's Day has us wondering, who is the fairest of them all? So we turn to Pinterest to evaluate, "WHO IS THE MOST LOVED BUG?". Based on number of pins here are the 2015 Valentine Rankings: