Published on September 6, 2012 at 12:30 AM
As VIPs come to Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention, some are being greeted by undesirable guests in their hotels.
No, not protesters.
Reports of the little blood-suckers have been on the uptick in Charlotte, and they are a growing problem in the lodging industry throughout the country. The good news: Delegates, and anyone who travels, can take precautions against bed bugs—small insects that feed on human blood and are usually active at night when people are sleeping.
Dan Ritter, president of BugBand, the Georgia-based natural insect repellent company, offers these tips for dealing with bed bugs when traveling:
- Inspect bedding. Upon check-in, always inspect your mattress, box spring and headboard, floorboard and carpet for evidence of the bugs.
- Keep luggage off the floor of the hotel. Hang clothes; do not put them in drawers.
- Use repellent. Travel with a convenient-size bed bug repellent, such as Bed Bugs No More! (available in a 3-ounce pump spray to meet airline carry-on standards, as well as a 16-ounce spray for homes or hotels). The non-toxic product uses a highly concentrated version of Geraniol, a natural oil derived from geranium plants, which kills adult bed bugs, eggs, larvae and nymphs on contact.
- Wash clothing and inspect luggage immediately after a trip.
"Bed bugs are a growing problem for travelers and the hospitality industry," says Ritter. "Taking a few steps to eliminate bed bugs in your hotel room will also ensure that you don't bring them home with you."