Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are you Practicing Safe Travel?

Everyone's no doubt heard of, and been educated on the subject of safe sex. Well now, we are in a new reality where travelers have to practice safe travel. And if you don't practice safe travel, you and yours will soon be suffering from a new social disorder called: Hemo-Sucking Nocturnal Nasties or more commonly known as HSNN. Don't try to google that, I just made it up. But remember you heard it hear first.

Instead, through some simple awareness measures on your part when you travel, you can greatly reduce the risk of picking up and spreading these nasty hitch hikers of the universe, these serial blood suckers.

Bedbugs don't travel very far on their own the way cockroaches and waterbugs do. Bedbugs hate day light, just like the tiny vampires they are. Bedbugs instinctively know how to attach, ride and hide. Even onto the finest designer luggage. The eggs have a stickiness that is their flight insurance. If you have bedbugs, guess what? You or a house guest brought them in to your home. In much the same way that a vampire can't enter a home without an invite, many people unknowingly bring home these unwanted pests especially after vacationing.

In apartment buildings, attached townhomes, hotels or motels, it is possible that bedbugs can travel from room to room, apartment to apartment, through small cracks in the walls and the floor. Especially, if a nearby neighbor has a problem and sets off one of those ineffective insect fog bombs, the bedbugs will scatter. And then the bedbugs will come back with a hungry vengeance but now you too will have an infestation if you happen live next door. Bedbugs can live up to a year or more with out food. The almost clear eggs are hard to detect unless a trained eye is looking for them. (Traditional vampires can't be seen in a mirror.)

Here's a very simple step to protect yourself when you travel or you have a house guest.
No, not garlic.

Plastic bags. Yes, simple trash bags. Think of it as a really super huge condom to ensure safe travel. Someone visits your home, put their luggage into a large bag immediately. After all, you don't know where there luggage's been. If you feel uncomfortable asking them to do this, tell them your dog had fleas and you don't want their stuff to get infected. And you just had your house sprayed and you're protecting their belongings. Yada, yada. Remember what George from Seinfield said.... "it's not you, it's me" strategy works perfectly in this situation.

Julia Child had the right idea when she said: "the first thing you do is put the chicken in last" When you are staying at a hotel the first thing you do is to hang up all your clothes in the closet. Don't put your clothing on the bed or in the dresser drawers. Bedbugs live in any furniture so until you do an inspection of the room, keep your possessions on high ground. Hang 'em high. But BEFORE you even unpack, inspect the bed and bedding first. Pull back the bed covers and check the mattress binding seams carefully. If there are any brown or red stains. get the heck out of Dodge. You will be slaughtered before sunrise. If it's late and you're too tired to find another hotel/motel request a room far away from the infected site. Do this in every place you stay. Even the finest hotels/motels have bedbug problems because their previous guests did not practice safe travel protocol.

Bedbugs and their eggs are everywhere and anywhere that people travel and move. They are in moving trucks, airport luggage machines and vehicles, taxi cab trunks, mattress delivery trucks, etc. Plastic bags are light weight and easy to use as a protection shield against these HSNN's.

Don't leave home without them.

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