People sitting in airplane seats

Bed Bugs on a Plane 

Whether or not you’ve seen the movie Snakes on a Plane (2006) starring Samuel L. Jackson, most people can agree that the concept of a plane filled with venomous snakes is pretty sickening. Though less frightening than snakes, there’s a very real possibility that you could end up with some stowaways on your flight: bed bugs.

Another Stressful Aspect of Air Travel

Air travel is stressful to begin with: tight connections, cramped seats, and for some, the fear of flying, all make for a long day. Bed bugs are probably the last thing you want to think about when you’re flying, but there’s a real risk. You may already be worried about germs on airplanes, since, unlike hospitals, they’re not cleaned very often. Unfortunately, this also means that bed bugs can easily invade an airplane. One passenger can cause a problem for the entire plane- if someone gets on a plane, unaware that they have an infestation in their home, they could bring bed bugs onto the plane via their clothing or luggage. 

Airplanes: A Bed Bug’s Playground

Once the passenger carrying the bed bugs sits down, there are a million places the bugs could get into. Since passengers are packed together so tightly on planes, bed bugs have easy access to jump from person to person. They can also burrow themselves away in the seats, waiting to get onto someone else’s clothes or belongings, or crawl throughout the carpeting on the plane.

Overhead Hiding Places

If bed bugs have hidden themselves in the passenger’s carry-on bag, that could cause another problem. When the bag is stored in the overhead compartment, the bed bugs have the opportunity to jump into someone else’s bag. Since they are so small, they can get into your clothes and belongings without you even noticing. 

Unwanted Souvenirs

Once the high-flying pests have burrowed into your clothing or belongings, you’ll inevitably take them off the plane with you when you reach your destination. After this, you could encounter one of two problems: either you’re coming back from a trip and heading home, bringing the bed bugs into your own home, or you’re beginning a trip and going to a hotel, which could then become infested and cause issues for other travelers. 

Preventing a Problem

Luckily, there are several strategies to prevent bed bugs from ruining your travels. First off, when you get to your destination, whether that’s your home or a hotel, thoroughly inspect your clothes and luggage for signs of bed bugs. If you’re staying in a hotel and find evidence of bed bugs, inform the front desk immediately so they can properly treat the room. If you’re heading home, inspect your belongings outside so that if you find bed bugs, you haven’t already brought them inside.

Second, whether you find any visual evidence of bed bugs or not, it’s a good idea to wash and dry the outfit you wore on the plane. If a bed bug or two managed to stow away in your clothes without you noticing, putting the clothes in the dryer on high heat will eliminate them. Bed bugs will not survive the heat of the dryer. If you’re returning from a trip, you should wash all of your dirty clothes immediately, even if you’re tired. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bed bugs. You should also take a shower- bed bugs are not good swimmers, and if any bugs made it into your hair or onto your skin, a shower should get rid of them.

Brought Home Bed Bugs? We Can Help.

If you get back from your trip and discover that you’ve brought home bed bugs, don’t worry- Bed Bug Barbque can help. We use heat treatment to get rid of bed bugs. This bed bug extermination process gets rid of bed bugs in just one day and won’t fill your home with chemicals! Contact Bed Bug BBQ today for a FREE quote and inspection at (216) 221-1227 or through our website! Check out our other bed bug informational resources on identification, prevention, and eradication.

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