A PEST control expert has warned that holidaymakers risk bringing home horrible critters after staying in hotels or AirBnBs.
Stuart Halliday, 42, owner of Kill and Cure Pest Control, says bedbugs and cockroaches could end up following you home after your vacation.
Bed bugs are small, blood-sucking insects that can be found in the joints of your mattress – adults are about 5mm long.
They crawl out at night and feed on human blood after biting through exposed skin.
Typically they are brown, dark yellow or red in colour, are flat and oval-shaped and are the size of an apple seed.
Although they aren’t dangerous, they can cause extreme discomfort and stress to those who are bitten by them.
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Cockroaches also prefer the night, when they creep out of their cracks and crevices to forage for food in kitchens.
Here Mr Halliday goes through his four golden rules to make sure the critters don't follow you home…
1. Where to leave your luggage
As soon as you arrive at where you are staying make sure that you put your bags or suitcases away from the bed.
People make the mistake of opening their suitcase on the bed and as soon as they do, bed bugs are hoping right in and making it their home.
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Put it on the bedside dresser or on a table instead.
2. Search for bedbugs
The first thing you do is lift the mattress up.
Here you are looking in the nooks and crannies for what looks like black mould.
But it's not mould – it's their droppings. It looks like little black dots.
If it's bad you will see the bugs themselves and you’ll see little white dots which are their eggs.
When bedbugs are fully grown it's easy to see them with the naked eye.
If there's a headboard you need to check there also.
Another place to inspect is the sofa, if your accommodation has one.
This is somewhere where no doubt along the way someone has slept there.
Check under the cushions and all the nooks and crannies.
If that’s all clear you’re all good to pop your suitcase on your bed and enjoy your holiday.
3. Check for Cockroaches
If you're staying in a self-catering accommodation you might have a little kitchen area.
It's important to inspect the area so you don’t end up taking them home.
With cockroaches, their droppings look like black sand and it is quite subtle.
You need to look for this sand-like substance inside cupboards on the bottom shelf below any hinge.
Have a look around the kitchen and bathroom – these are their favourite places.
4. When you get home
When you come home, don't unpack your suitcase in your bedroom or into your laundry basket.
Bring it straight to the kitchen or wherever you have your washing machine.
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This is because bedbugs will jump from already infected items to clean items.
Put your suitcases in bin bags. Put them in a loft or put them in the shed. Never put them in your bedroom.
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