Don't let pests ruin spring break fun

March 17, 2013

Every spring, millions of Americans plan vacations during their annual spring break. Ladybug Pest Management reminds those travelers that the best way to prevent pests like mosquitoes and bedbugs from ruining their trips is through preparation and awareness.

“Spring break is one of the most popular times of the year for families and students to escape to tropical destinations,” said Sandy Honess at Ladybug Pest Management, “We remind those travelers that in order to avoid returning home with pest-related illnesses and issues, they must be vigilant and prepared.”

Although bites may be inevitable, mosquitoes can leave behind more than just an itchy welt, so taking precautions against these bloodsuckers is important. Travelers in tropical areas are susceptible to contracting mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus and dengue fever, both reportedly on the rise in the U.S. as well as South America, Mexico and the Caribbean islands. Research has also shown that mosquitos may be becoming resistant to DEET. Experts suggests alternating DEET with other products such as those containing picaridin (i.e. Avon Skin-So-Soft w/picaridin, lemon oil eucyluptus). Do not stop using DEET, just switch up.

Travelers must also take steps to prevent bed bugs from hitching rides home with them in luggage and clothing. The National Pest Management Association found a significant increase in the prevalence of bedbugs in public places, including hotels, motels and college dorms. Ladybug Pest Management and its canine scent beagles, Delmarva's own Daisey and Dolley, can help target and locate hard-to-find bedbugs.

To remain pest-free while away and once home, keep these tips in mind:

• Use insect repellant containing EPA-registered active ingredients like DEET or picaridin

• Limit time outdoors or wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active

• If bitten by a mosquito, clean the area thoroughly, avoid scratching and apply anti-itch cream

• To inspect a hotel room for bedbugs, pull back bed sheets, inspect mattress seams, boxsprings, headboards, sofas and chairs for telltale brownish or reddish spots, shed skins or bugs

• Avoid putting luggage on beds or upholstered furniture, and store it in a plastic bag

• Once home, inspect and vacuum suitcases before bringing them inside • Wash and dry all clothes on hot setting.

Consumers suspecting an infestation should contact a licensed pest professional. Email any questions to  For more information, go to