NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — North Dakotans are making up for lost time during the summer to book their bucket list vacations since COVID-19 halted travel.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), since more people are starting to take these vacations, bed bugs are becoming a big problem.

Bed Bug Awareness Week started on June 4 and goes until June 10, and the NPMA is warning people of the resilient, bloodsucking pests and urging inspections and prevention.

Since you could be going on your once-in-a-lifetime vacation, bed bugs are something you don’t want to encounter. And according to a survey, 38% of Americans are concerned about them while traveling, but only 29% of people actually know how to search for them, while 32% of people are confident they can identify the pest.

“Bed bugs feed on blood to survive so they are often found in hotel or rental property beds because the humans that sleep there make for an easy meal,” said the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for NPMA, Jim Fredericks. “However, it’s important for travelers to know that bed bugs are not only found in beds, they can also hide just about anywhere and have even been found in airplanes, trains, and buses.”

NPMA wants to share these seven inspection and prevention tips to reduce encounters with pests:

  • When you get to the hotel or rental property, search the entire space before unpacking. This includes behind headboards, under lights, and inside dressers, couches, and chairs.
  • Pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams and box springs, especially the corners for stains or spots.
  • Avoid putting luggage on furniture or luggage racks since bed bugs can hide unseen.
  • Carry a flashlight to help with the inspection.
  • If you see anything that could suggest the pest, change rooms or the establishment immediately. Do not stay in an adjacent room.
  • When you get home, vacuum and inspect suitcases before bringing them inside.
  • Wash and dry all clothes on a hot cycle.

“Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can sneak home with you on your clothing or luggage. If you suspect you may have a bed bug issue in your home, contact a pest control professional immediately. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eradicate and require the help of a qualified pest pro,” Fredericks added.

If you would like more information about bed bugs and prevention tips, you can visit this website.