1. Bed bugs –ick!

    Bed bugs have to be among one of the ickiest things to plague modern travellers and city dwellers. And darlings, they are everywhere. My skin is crawling even as I type! If you think a pricy hotel protects you, think again; our research says they are in all types of hotels, and even movie theaters and dressing rooms.

    For years, I have selected hotels with all-white bedding that consists of only sheets and duvet covers. If there is ever a bedspread in the room, I have it and any other non-washable fabric items removed for the duration of my stay. Now it seems my all-white bedding fetish may also make it easier to check for bed bugs.
    I am also not leaving home without EcoSMART, non-toxic bed bug killer for mattresses and carpets. EcoSmart make an organic spray that quickly kills bed bugs and their eggs, but is completely safe for humans and pets. The spray is available in three sizes, including a travel format that will pass airport regulations. Don’t take chances; use the EcoSMART tips below to protect yourself by carrying EcoSMART spray when you travel.
    12 ways to prevent bed bug hitchhikers:
    ·        Upon entering your hotel room, do NOT put your suitcase on the bed or the floor. Bed bugs can and will jump to your suitcase without you knowing it. Instead, set your luggage on the luggage rack and barricade them from entering by spraying EcoSMART repellent around the legs of the luggage carrier and the perimeter of your suitcase.
    ·        If you’re traveling with Fido, remove him from the carrier and treat the carrier with the repellent, just as you did your suitcase.  Remember, the repellent is 100 percent safe, but Fido just may not appreciate being sprayed, or may not like the odor.
    ·        Look for bed bugs or signs of them in the seams of the mattress. Pull back the bedding and look at the mattress. Check the seams and what looks like a ribbon or cord around the perimeter of the mattress. Check in and around any buttons or ribbing. You may not be able to see the bed bugs. They’re the size of apple seeds, but you may see reddish spots from blood smears or brownish spots from bed bug poop – ugh!
    ·        Check the cracks and crevices of the headboard. Bed bugs love to hide in small places, so especially check screw and nail holes and inseams, where the wood meets in grooves.
    ·        Check the night stand, dressers, and even look in the electrical equipment, like an alarm clock.  Check these pieces of furniture as you did the headboard, but remember you need to do more than just open a drawer and look inside. You must make a thorough examination of all nooks and crannies.
    ·        Do not put your clothes on hangars, until you have checked them thoroughly. Bed bugs can live in the cracks and crevices of hangars, so this area should be checked before placing clothing especially if the hangars are wooden.
    ·        Do not put clothing in hotel room drawers. It’s difficult to check the entire room, including all the drawers of a dresser, so to be safe, keep your clothing in your suitcases or hang it up only after checking the hangars.
    ·        Travel with zip loc baggies, large enough to hold an outfit. When packing, separate clothing into outfits, then when you’re done wearing the clothes, return them to the baggies.
    ·        If you see signs of bed bugs, request another room as far away as possible, preferably in another section of the building! Bed bugs can move from room to room. 
    ·        Remember, bed bugs can live anywhere and not only in dirty places. Just because you’re in a five-star hotel, don’t assume it’s a bed bug-free zone. Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt and grime; they are attracted to warmth, blood, and carbon dioxide, and can live up to a year without food.
    ·        To effectively prevent the possibility of bed bugs entering your luggage, spray EcoSMART travel repellent daily to erect the barrier and keep your suitcase a bed bug free zone. The three-ounce travel repellent lasts three to four days, so if you have an extended trip, be sure to pack enough product to keep your bags safe.
    ·        To protect against the possibility of becoming a blood meal, spray EcoSMART travel size Killer and Repellent every night to create a barrier of protection before hitting the bed.