We’ve all heard the horror stories about bed bug infested hotel rooms or holiday rental cabins that are crawling with the nasty critters. Alas, bed bugs are equal opportunity pests that can take up residence anywhere: homes, stores, hospitals, dorm rooms and churches can all suffer from bug infestations.
Well, you can now add another place (or places, to be more accurate) where bed bugs are showing up in unprecedented numbers: public transportation. The fact of the matter is that buses, taxis, trains, trolleys and subways are often home to bed bugs, mites, fleas and more.
Why are transportation modes so vulnerable to bugs?
Well, for one thing riders themselves are often the ‘culprits,’ bringing bed bugs along in their luggage, their briefcases and even their clothing. And you think you might be immune, know that bed bugs are equal opportunity pests. Even the cleanest, best-dressed commuter can be at risk for contracting bed bugs.
However, there’s another problem! Vehicles themselves can certainly become ‘home’ for these pesky critters; plus transportation facilities such as trains stations, waiting rooms, ticket areas and so forth can also harbor bed bugs. Everything from benches and furniture to lockers and cafeterias can also play host to pests, so it’s easy to see why bed bug infestation can be such a problem.
So what do you do? Stop riding on public transportation?
Not exactly. While bed bugs are an annoyance, they can be dealt with! Ideally, transportation owners will themselves start to address the problem. But whether you run a bus company or just ran into bed bugs on your local bus, here are some pointers on how to get rid of bed bugs.
Get Rid of Bed Bugs. Now!
If you’re in the transportation management business, you probably know all about this problem. But don’t blame yourself if you find your vehicles or facilities are places of bug refuge. In fact, at least 20% of Canadians have encountered bed bugs in their homes, offices and in hotels and other places. But they have to go!
But first things first. Do you know how to tell if you have bed bugs? Are you absolutely positive that you have a bed bug problem? First of all, bed bugs are small, oval and brownish in color and have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, their bodies swell and turn a reddish color.
And as I’ve said they usually enter a home or office or cab or bus or train undetected, carried in with luggage, clothing, carry-ons and other innocuous items. Unfortunately, their flat bodies make it easy for them to fit into very small tiny spaces. And bed bugs can quickly and easily spread from bedrooms to other rooms or apartments, preferring to live in crevices or other protected locations.
If you think you may have come in contact with bed bugs on public transportation, be sure to thoroughly wash your clothes in hot water. You may even want to dispose of them. As well be sure to report the bed bugs to the transportation company.