Bed bugs are sneaking onto trains and buses. Here’s how to avoid them while traveling
- These insects can hide under mattresses and lose wallpaper
- Bed bugs are starting to hide in suitcases used by travelers
- There are ways to reduce the chance of a bedbug on the train or bus
Bed bugs are nasty, blood-sucking insects – and they’re turning up on trains and buses, much to the dismay of travelers.
The little creatures are experts at hiding everywhere from the seams of pillows to furniture, mattresses and under loose wallpaper in homes.
But they find their way into people’s suitcases when they travel on trains and buses.
“Bed bugs are not picky and can easily hitch a ride on our luggage or clothing,” confirms Richard Grimes, managing director and pest control expert at Acorn Environment Services.
Removing bed bugs from all trains and buses is impossible, but there are ways to avoid them where possible.
Bed bugs find their way onto buses and trains without the traveler’s knowledge, and can result in a person and/or their property being exposed to bed bugs
Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that normally hide in mattresses, loose wallpaper and cushion and furniture seams.
One option is to look around and examine the available seats when you board a train or bus.
Inspecting the seat can be critical before sitting down for a potentially long bus or train ride.
Reddish-brown and black small dots (fecal stains) may indicate that bed bugs have been in the chair.
If possible, travelers should opt for hard plastic or metal seats instead of upholstered seats or sofas with seams.
People can also use protective seat covers if they want to be extra cautious about possible exposure to bed bugs.
A small, wearable cover or blanket covers the barrier between the traveler and the potential bed bug, reducing the chance of being bitten by one.
Travelers shouldn’t just examine their seats, as bed bugs are experts at hiding.
Bed bugs can also lurk in waiting areas, banks and other places such as bus or train stations.
Examining seats is a crucial part of making sure you are somewhere on the bus or train where bed bugs have not been exposed
Leaving luggage on the floor not only makes the suitcases dirty, but also increases the chance of bed bugs crawling on your bags.
Top compartments are the solution for large suitcases, and it’s simple placing a bag on someone’s lap can be the key to protecting smaller bags.
People on buses and trains who travel light are already less likely to get bed bugs.
The number of suitcases makes a difference as more bed bugs have been discovered in luggage, so having one bag instead of three will likely make a huge difference in the possibility of bringing bed bugs home.
Communication plays a role in this, especially for people who want to stay informed personally or online about bed bug sightings on a bus or train.
A few suggestions for preventing bed bugs through seating are to use a portable cover or blanket, protective seat covers, or to sit in a hard plastic or metal chair or couch.
Passengers who notice infections should immediately tell a driver or conductor so that they can take appropriate safety measures and find a way to discuss the contamination with other travelers.
Even if there is no infestation, people should examine their luggage and themselves to see if there are any signs of bed bugs.
If a person is exposed, he or she should immediately wash and dry their clothes and vacuum their belongings.
Washing and drying clothes to get rid of bed bugs must be done in a certain way to kill them.
Clothes washed in hot water and put in the dryer with the heat on high will kill any bed bugs that may have landed on your belongings.