How to Enjoy a Pest-Free Spring Break

March 16, 2018

How to Enjoy a Pest-Free Spring Break

Will you be traveling for spring break? Chances are, the place you’re visiting is warm and tropical. Everyone loves to soak up the sun during spring break and get excited for the summer months ahead. However, it’s important to protect yourself from mosquitoes and bed bugs that can wreak havoc on your health and sanity. By taking the proper precautions, you can enjoy a safer, healthier spring vacation.

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Mosquitoes are found in all popular spring break destinations, including the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Unfortunately, it has also been found that some mosquitoes are infected with the Zika Virus. This virus can cause illness in some people and spread to an unborn baby, causing birth defects. Currently, there is no way to treat or cure Zika Virus

Although Zika Virus has been receiving plenty of attention, mosquito-borne illnesses are nothing new. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on earth because of the diseases they carry and transit to humans, many of them life-threatening. Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile, Heartworm, and Encephalitis are all diseases carried and spread by mosquitoes.

Most spring break destinations have a high volume of mosquitoes, so it’s imperative that you stay vigilant. The best way to protect yourself is by not getting bitten in the first place. Always wear an insect repellent containing DEET (or picaridin) when outdoors. Protective clothing is also helpful, such as long-sleeve pants and shirts. Also, avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn.

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be found in hotels and motels across the globe. They can easily crawl onto luggage and clothing and start a new infestation in another location, including your home. Bed bugs do not carry disease, which is a good thing. However, getting rid of them is extremely difficult and expensive. Until they are gone, bed bugs will come out at night and feed off your blood, leaving behind small, itchy bites.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of coming home with bed bugs. Before booking a hotel, check bedbugregistry.com. This website lists all reports of bed bugs. You can check the hotel before booking and even avoid specific rooms!

Upon entering your hotel room, take a few minutes to look for signs of bed bugs. If you see any, ask to be switched immediately. Bed bugs are most commonly found inside and around mattresses. Look for dried blood stains on pillows and sheets. Check for dried gunk in between couch cushions, chairs, and mattresses. Use a flashlight to inspect furniture and outlets. Finally, keep your luggage off the floor. When you return home, wash and dry all clothing in the hottest water to kill bed bugs and their eggs.

Spring break is a time for relaxation, not stress. Follow our tips above to prevent coming home with anything other than a tan.