You’ve probably heard all about bed bugs in hotel rooms, and perhaps you stumbled upon a few of the bloodthirsty critters in your own home, as well. But did you know they can be hiding inside books in the public library, in clothing in retail stores, and along the seams of your seat in trains and planes?
Using public transportation is good for the environment, but riding on planes, subways, trains, buses, taxis, and even cruise ships may expose you to problems from bed bugs as their riders may bring them inside in luggage, clothing, and personal possessions. The risk increases when using public transport in areas with a high incidence rate of residential bed bug infestations.
Being small and agile, bed bugs thrive in small places. Inside the house, they lodge inside cracks, crevices, and along the seams of the mattress, identifying their host by carbon dioxide, warmth, and by certain chemical substances. They prefer feeding on the exposed skin of the face, arms, and back of a sleeping person.
Since there aren’t many people sleeping on public transport, buses and trains don’t offer many opportunities for feeding. But that’s rarely a problem, since bed bugs can survive for over a year without a meal. Public transport is, for them, a big waiting room: easily hidden in the creases of seats and seat belt fastenings on buses, trains, and planes, they patiently wait for their next blood meal to come along and hitch a ride on the victim’s clothes or belongings.
As owner/manager of public transportation means, you should follow these guidelines
developed by the National Pest Management Association:
As passenger in public transportation means, you should:
[clickToTweet tweet=”Awareness is the key to steering clear of bed bugs and catching an infestation in its early stage.” quote=”Awareness is the key to steering clear of bed bugs and catching an infestation in its early stage.”] In case you suspect a few bed bugs have indeed hitched a ride home with you, keep your calm and call a pest control professional before the infestation gets out of hand.
About the Author
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.