There are a lot of dangers that come with traveling these days. Most travelers are aware of the potential for wrecks, thefts, and illnesses. However, the threat that is most overlooked is the bed bug
. A bug about the size of an apple seed can cause you and your family immense problems. And bringing them into your home after a long stay in an infected hotel is becoming more of a common occurrence, especially in Chicago, Illinois. Therefore, it pays to arm yourself, and there is simply no better way to do just that than by learning the SLEEP theory.
It all starts with the S and this portion of the theory represents surveying. It means to give your hotel
room a good, thorough visual inspection. Just because you are paying upwards of $200 a night for a room, it does not exclude the potential for a run-in with these bugs. There are many cases when bed bugs
have reportedly shown up in some of the cleanest homes and hotels in the world. A good thing to remember is that in large infestations, you can oftentimes smell musty, sweet odors. Also, keep an eye out for reddish or brown stains on the sheets, although any reputable hotel is going to change or wash their sheets regularly.
LIFT And LOOK
The L portion of the theory takes the surveying step a bit further. This part of the theory means to get in there and physically scour the room for signs of an infestation. This step will go much easier and be more effective if you know where to look for these pests. Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the common hiding spots for these bedbugs
. This step may require removing the pillowcases, flipping the mattresses, checking under the box springs, and looking under the carpeting and rugs if accessible. Just know where to look! That is key to success with this step.
There are two Es in the SLEEP theory, but the first one starts the offensive approach to this theory. It represents elevation and it means to place your luggage upon those elevated hotel racks. Bed bugs
are innate hitchhikers and can even crawl up walls, but they are more of a path of less resistance kind of bedbug
, meaning they will always take the easiest route possible. Along with this, they will go out of their way to avoid detection. Placing your luggage upon these racks will give you time to scour the room without worrying about the bugs immediately invading your belongings while you are searching.
The second E of the theory is also more of an offensive approach, but it applies to the return trip. This step means to examine your luggage and clothing before heading home just to confirm you are free of bedbugs
. This is a step that can be performed upon your arrival at your residence. If you go this route, you’ll want to make sure you empty the luggage in the garage or basement. Be sure to unpack your belongings somewhere far away from your sleeping quarters, so the bugs cannot move in and immediately make themselves at home.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the last step. The last step, but perhaps the most important. This portion of the theory means to wash and dry your clothes immediately after checking them for bugs. Even if you did not find any and you bought new items on your trip, it will still be a good idea to go ahead and wash and dry them. You must make sure you wash the clothes in the hottest water possible followed by drying the clothes on the hottest heat setting. Bed bugs cannot stand up to extreme temperatures, as it causes their organs to shut down. Exposing them to the heat from a washer and dryer will be sufficiently hot enough to cause fatal damage to their internal organs.
If you do all this and end up discovering that you still have a problem, you’ll want to get a pest management professional involved as soon as possible. Bed bugs are extremely complex pests and successfully eradicating them from the property will likely require the assistance of a professional.