The unfortunate reality of travel is that you cannot drop your guard. Plane travel is particularly fraught with peril. This is due to the use of body scanners, close proximity to ill passengers, exposure to EMFs, and the bioelectrical disruptions that occur when you are not in contact with the Earth’s surface.

A vigilant traveler is also aware of the bedbugs. Conventional wisdom holds that bedbugs are commonly found at hotels but the Kansas City Star reports that a live bedbug infestation was found inside of Terminal B at the Kansas City International Airport. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that bedbugs aren’t a medical or public health hazard because they don’t spread disease, this doesn’t mean you should take these insects lightly.

Although they are well adapted to thriving in areas where people sleep, bedbug infestations are not limited to bedrooms. A Chicago Transit Authority “el” car was pulled out of commission because of a bedbug infestation. Another misconception is that bedbugs are only a problem if you stay at dilapidated hotels or frequent other cheap lodging options. As reported by the Daily Mail, guests at some of New York’s most expensive hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Astor on the Park and Marriot Marquis, have complained about bedbug infestations since at least 2016.

Worse still, bedbugs have an unfortunate habit of infiltrating your possessions and following you back to your residence. Few things are more unpleasant than having your sleep interrupted by the bites of these small, wingless insects.

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Aside from the loss of vital and restorative sleep, bedbug bites result in itchiness that could result in excessive scratching and secondary skin infections. Small, red bite marks may be your first indication of an infestation of bugs that don’t likely carry disease, but there are large amounts of histamine in bedbug excrement. Histamine concentration is high and persistent in infested homes, raising your risk of allergies and is deposited to attract other bedbugs.

Ironically, bedbugs were almost eradicated through the use of the pesticide DDT. From the 1940s on, bedbug numbers fell into rapid decline and by late in the 20th century appeared to be vanquished.

But in a classic case of the unintended consequences, DDT has since been revealed to be an extremely dangerous chemical and pesticide-resistant bedbugs began to appear. This led to a resurgence in infestations starting in 2000. According to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, an astounding 99.6 percent of pest professionals treated cases of bedbug infestations in 2015 alone.

Obviously, using DDT to roll back the bedbug infestations is not advisable and unlikely to be effective. The best way to protect your home from bedbugs is to know your enemy and to prevent them from establishing a foothold in your home. Bedbugs are usually brown to reddish-brown, and are roughly the size of an apple seed, measuring 5 to 7 millimeters long. Their bodies, when not fed, are flat and oval-shaped, but become balloon-like and more elongated when nourished.

When staying at a hotel, check for signs of bedbug infestation. Look for insects in mattress seams and look for rust colored spots on your bedding. Refrain from placing your luggage on the bed, on the floor, near electrical outlets, art frames and other potential bedbug hiding places. Instead, make use of the luggage racks provided at most hotels.

Examine your luggage and clothing meticulously after traveling and store them away from your sleeping area. Clothing packed in luggage should be placed directly in the dryer at the highest setting for 15 minutes after returning from a trip. Stay on high alert and inspect your residence frequently, especially after returning from a trip or after you have guests or service workers in your residence.

It is unfortunate that infestations are still an issue, but there are safe and natural methods of rolling back an existing bedbug infestation. Begin by scouting areas in your home for bedbug activity — such as your bed, mattress, linens and box springs. You can also search for signs of bedbugs in sofas and other soft furnishings.

The devil is in the details: Bedbugs instinctively hide in the dark cracks and crevices. Some bedbugs may also thrive in loose portions of wallpaper near a bed, in desk or dresser corners, in the laundry and other corners of the room. You should also watch out for bedbug eggs, which resemble tiny and pale poppy seeds. Make a point to check for bedbugs every seven days, just in case you missed any of their eggs.

Once you’ve targeted bedbug-infested areas, you can begin removing these pests. Bedbugs that are exposed to a temperature of 113 Fahrenheit are killed regardless of their size or life stage. This makes heat treatment extremely effective when executed thoroughly. Heat treatment can be applied by washing clothes in a dryer. Cold treatment is somewhat less effective because it requires four days of exposure to work. For more information on how to foil these annoying insects check out my article “How to Get Rid of Bedbugs.”

Shared with permission from our friends at Dr. Mercola.

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