Bed bugs are scary. They’re hard to spot and harder to get rid of. Once they’ve infested your home you’ll probably need professional help to remove them. Better to keep the little critters out of your home in the first place.

Wizzie Brown, an insect specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office says being a careful traveler reduces the chance that bed bugs will hitch a ride to your house in your luggage.

How do you keep bed bugs out of your home when you return from a trip?

“Before you take your luggage in[to your home], you want to do your inspection. So if you can, leave it in a vehicle…until the room is cleared that would be best. If you’re flying and you don’t have a car…what I do is stick mine in the bathtub, because you can see…and they’re most likely not going to be in the bathtub.”

How should you inspect a place you’re staying for bed bugs?

“You want to systematically tear apart the bed. So removing all of the covers, the pillows, all of that – inspecting around the mattress seams. Taking the mattress off the bed is the thing that most people don’t want to do.”

What do bed bugs look like?

“The adults are going to be about the size of a watermelon seed. The…very first ones out of the eggs are going to be about the size of a poppy seed or a sesame seed. But you can see them with the naked eye. You can also look for fecal spotting and blood marks. And it’s just kind of nasty, funky-looking stuff.”

Tell it like it isTweet @TexasStandard or leave a comment here