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how to avoid bedbugs on your travels – NBC Bay Area

Summer travelers: Pay attention. You may encounter bed bugs — or unwittingly offer a free ride to some. One East Bay family needed the help of our response team to correct a costly insect problem that led to a flight being derailed. Our team has found some expert tips for you, Plus a list from Orkin Pest Control of where exterminators see the highest numbers of bed bugs.

Nathan Gaither’s latest outing may have you scratching your head, arms, and legs.

“I went to Kentucky. That’s where I went to school. My high school best friend, from Pleasanton, was actually getting married there,” Gaither said.

His photo album includes friends, family, and bugs at his Airbnb.

“All it took was pulling back the covers and looking at the line on the mattress,” Gaither recalls. “And they were everywhere. You could tell easily.”

The Gaithers learned the hard way that bedbug populations are making a comeback.

“There is a greater risk,” said Ben Hottel, an entomologist at Orkin.

Bed bugs are on the move — and the coronavirus has slowed them down, Hotel said.

“When everything shut down, we saw a really big reduction in bed bugs because people weren’t traveling as much,” Hotel explained.

But now people are traveling. Therefore, the number of bedbugs is increasing again.

“It’s been getting more and more intense,” Hottel said.

Hottel suggests we all check for bedbugs on vacation. Immediately inspect the bed and box springs.

“He looked closely there, in the cracks and crevices. That’s where they would usually hide,” Hottel said.

Next, turn your attention to the headboard.

“Hit on the headboard a little bit to see if they’ll disperse from the back there,” Hottel suggested.

Is it all clear? rest assured

But play it safe, anyway. Keep your bag away from the bed.

“Don’t open it and leave it on top of the bed. Because that’s where the bed bugs are,” the hotel said.

When you get home, turn on the washer and dryer.

The high heat will kill a six-legged trophy from trying to invade your home, Hotel said.

It’s a powerful incentive to do your laundry when you get home, Hottel said.

So, where are you most likely to encounter bed bugs? Orkin recently compiled A.J “50 Worst American Cities” in Bed Bugs List.

Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia are at the top. San Francisco is ranked 41st.

“It’s just based on what we’ve seen in our business,” Hottel said.

Louisville, where the Gaithers family encountered bed bugs, ranked 49th, just behind San Francisco.

So, what happened after the Gathers found these demons? His family moved him to a hotel.

“Of course, at that point, they’re paying top dollar. They don’t really have a choice. They needed a place to sleep,” Gaither said.

Their last minute reservation cost them an additional $1200. Gaither expects Airbnb to cover the bill. but not.

“Airbnb was kind of shutting us down,” Gaither said.

“I was paying for the entire Marriott stay entirely out of my pocket,” he added.

“It didn’t feel fair. Because obviously when you book a place through Airbnb, you expect a clean, safe stay.

He was frustrated and called the NBC Bay Area Responds team.

“I love NBC Bay Area, and I see your show NBC Responds,” Gaither said.

We contacted Airbnb.

“All of a sudden, the whole tone shifted away from them,” Gaither said.

Airbnb did not share any details.

But Gaither said it covered the cost of the emergency hotel and refunded his Airbnb reservation.

“It was a big chunk of change, almost $2,000. It was a lot,” Gaither said.

“Thank you for helping us. All’s well that ends well,” he added.

Hotels, especially large chains, have generally adopted pest control routines to prevent bedbug infestations, Orkin said.

What about mom-and-pop vacation rentals? Ask them up front before spending any money on a reservation: What to do about bedbugs? What will you do if we find them?

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