LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A south Louisiana family brought back some unwanted souvenirs from their trip to Alabama. They were covered in bites from bed bugs.
A Livingston Parish woman, her husband and her young daughter all got bed bug bites while at a hotel in Dothan, AL. They are now being treated for their bites. They do not believe any bed bugs made the trip home with them, but they are currently treating their home as a precaution.
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. Adult bed bugs are oval, wingless and rusty red colored, and have flat bodies, antennae and small eyes.
They are visible to the naked eye, but often hide in cracks and crevices. When bed bugs feed, their bodies swell and become a brighter red. In homes, bed bugs feed primarily on the blood of humans, usually at night when people are sleeping.
Many people will get bed bugs from infested hotel rooms while traveling. New York City has been dubbed the "bed bug capital of the world" because so many travelers move in and out of that city and some hotel rooms there are infested. Travelers will frequently return home and unknowingly have bed bugs in their luggage.
A man known as "The Bug Doctor" from the Pest Cemetery website has a suggestion for people who live in warmer climates who hope to prevent bed bugs from entering their home after a trip.
He suggests leaving your unpacked luggage inside your hot car before bringing your luggage inside. Be sure to remove electronics first. On a warm day, the temperature in your car can quickly rise to 120 degrees and that way for several hours. That heat is high enough to kill bed bugs.
After leaving the luggage in your car for several hours, The Bug Doctor says it should then be safe to bring indoors.