Traveling is one of the greatest experiences in the world. It exposes you to a variety of new things. New cultures, new experiences, new sights, and new food. These are all things you can experience while traveling, but there is also so much more. Traveling can open you up to a world of knowledge and excitement that you had no clue existed. While this is great and all, you do have to be aware of the fact that some innate risks naturally come along with traveling. Whether it be for business or leisure, there are always going to be risks when traveling. And believe it or not, the bed bug
might be one of today’s greatest travel risks. Luckily, this is something you might be able to avoid by learning the SLEEP theory. Learn it, remember it, and live it!
It all starts with the S in theory, and this one represents surveying. This one is probably a given for most, as it simply means to survey the room you are going to be calling home for the next couple of nights. Remember, just because it cost upwards of $200 a night or because it can with a five-star rating, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still risks of bed bug
exposure. Bed bugs
have taken up in some of the cleanest places in the world and will likely do so again. Another good thing to remember is, in larger infestations, you might get hints of sweet, musty odors. Think of soda pop syrup.
LIFT And LOOK
The second step of the theory is a continuation of the first. Well, all steps are a continuation of the first, but this one just takes the first step and expands on it. The L in the SLEEP theory represents lifting and looking. It means doing more than a visual check of the room. Lift the mattress, flip the box springs, get in the nightstands, and scour every inch of the room along with all known bed bug
hiding spots. Of course, this will help if you know where bugs like to hide. Brush up a bit before your trip so you are prepared.
While there are two Es in the SLEEP theory, the first one takes things in an entirely different direction. This one is more of an offensive maneuver. The first E represents elevation and it means taking advantage of those elevated luggage racks. Every room has them and they are usually installed where the bathrooms meet the bedrooms. There are likely also some in the closet. Either way, they’ll serve the same purpose. They are to deter bed bugs
. Bed bugs
are excellent hitchhikers and extremely wise creatures. However, they are a bit lazy and somewhat tentative. When presented with the road of less resistance, these bugs will always take it. By placing your luggage way up high, you are forcing the bugs to climb to it, which might not only expose them, but it might make them feel like the effort isn’t worth it.
The second E of the theory continues by taking things even further in a different direction. That being said, it is also an offensive approach. However, this one applies to the return trip home. It means before packing up and heading out, do one final check. Make sure that your belongings are infected, even the new things you’ve purchased and haven’t had a chance to wear yet. Also remember, just because you’ve been in the room for a week or so and haven’t experienced any signs and symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t been exposed. You could have bed bugs in your belongings right now and not even know it. That’s what this step is for. You can also do this when you arrive home, but you’ll want to do it in a garage or basement, far away from the sleep quarters.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the last step of the theory. It is the step that ties everything together. It’s also an offensive step, which represents placing your belongings in the washer and dryer immediately when returning home. Bed bugs are vulnerable to extreme amounts of heat. When exposed for specific times their fragile, little bodies will dehydrate, wither, and die. Wash your clothes in the hottest water possible and then dry them on the hottest heat settings possible for 90 minutes or more. This will be enough to kill adult bugs, nymphs, and eggs.