How to prevent bedbugs when traveling

March 22, 2011 at 12:50 AM

NEWTON, Mass., March 22 (UPI) -- Experts say this summer's travel season may be the worst yet for bedbugs but a U.S. author says there are ways to protect against infestations.

Stacy DeBroff, founder of the blog Mom Central and an author of several books, says a green, pesticide-free treatment -- Stop Bugging Me -- kills bedbugs and their eggs on contact but also prevents them for up to two weeks.

It can be sprayed onto bug prone or infested areas including airplane seats, hotel rooms, beds, carpets, rental car interiors, luggage, linens and clothing, DeBroff says.

However, to guard against the pesky bugs, DeBroff advises to:

-- Never put handbags or purses on the floor, place them on your lap and place suitcases on luggage racks. For extra protection, encase your luggage -- suitcases, diaper bags, etc. -- in a zippered plastic bag.

-- Check car seats, trunks, blankets, sheets and pillow cases for dark spots and eggs that look like rice. Inspect stroller wheels, pockets and crevices. It's best to inspect any furniture before sitting on it. Bedbugs like to hide in sleeping and sitting areas that have dark to low light.

-- Always wash clothing before wearing it and after returning home from vacation, immediately wash all clothing and removable stroller/crib/playpen fabric components in hot water. Vacuum out all pieces of luggage.

-- Discard the used vacuum bag or dust canister contents in a sealed bag before cleaning anything else.

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