Make sure you don’t start the new year with an unwanted bedbug companion. [Photo Credit: Piotr Naskrecki]
U of M expert offers advice on avoiding a bed bug infestation this holiday
Visiting family and friends for the holidays? Or having guests in your home? One of the least pleasant aspects of holiday travel is the prospect of a bedbug infestation. A University of Minnesota expert who can provide some tips for making sure you don’t start the new year with unwanted bedbug companions is:
Stephen Kells, University of Minnesota entomologist
Here are some tips from Kells and the “Let’s Beat the Bed Bug!” initiative:
- If you’re having party guests, put their coats and bags in a closet instead of on your bed. If there’s no other option, cover the bed with a sheet that can be removed and treated later. Ask guests to put their shoes on a plastic mat near the door, and wash the mat in hot soapy water after they leave.
- If your guests are staying overnight, you can take similar precautions, such as enclosing mattresses in a washable cover and putting luggage into a large plastic bag that can be tied shut.
- If you’re the one who’s traveling, never put your clothing, luggage or other items on a bed that might be infested. Bring along a plastic bag to seal your luggage, and launder all your clothes as soon as you get home.
- Don’t panic. Bed bugs become a problem when people are not cautious. With a few simple steps, bed bugs are easily preventable and should not become an all-consuming worry as we approach and enjoy the winter holidays.
To interview Kells, contact Amelia Shindelar at (612) 624-9455; Becky Beyers, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, (612) 626-5754; or Jeff Falk, University News Service, (612) 626-1701.
Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit umn.edu/news. Views expressed by experts do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Minnesota.