Can You Get Bed Bugs From Camping?



The short and straightforward answer to the notorious question of whether one (or even worse, a group or family) can get bed bugs from good old camping is: YES! You can indeed take home unwanted hitchhikers that suck on blood and thus further infest both your home and expose nearby properties to a terrible risk, up to an endless cycle of infesting.

Here at Adventure Flair, we know that you have to focus on the source of problems.

So, How Does An Entire Camp Get Infested?

The menace of bed bug infestations in camps is on the rise worldwide. Bed bugs sneak into camps by “hitchhiking” hidden in clothing, luggage, or sometimes even clothes you wear. Once a nasty bloodsucker makes its way into the camp, it will immediately lay its eggs and easily spread to other campers’ belongings and, ultimately, to homes.

This is a significant risk as bed bugs are notoriously challenging to eradicate, and not only can the camp’s reputation can suffer a severe hit, but it will likely echo long after. Furthermore, it can take weeks or even months to detect an infestation, making it challenging to pinpoint the source of the problem, the expert adds.

As such, it is essential for camps to focus on planning, prevention, early detection, and prompt treatment.

How Can (And Should) Camps Prevent Bed Bug Infestations?

Introduce practices and procedures to minimize chances of infestations spurring.

  • Thorough inspections of living areas, including beds, furnishings and all the narrow spots that bed bugs love.
  • Carry thorough heat treatments before and after the season.
  • Reduce upholstery usage wherever possible, such as seating, drapery, etc.
  • Fill up cracks, crevices, and other safe spots for bed bugs.

Stop People From Bringing In Bed Bugs To The Camp:

  • Thorough eye-checking for signs of bed bugs and eggs.
  • Introduce mandatory heat treatment via dryers.
  • Contains infested fabrics into tight plastic bags.
  • Use repellent, sticky traps, and interceptors to provoke bed bug movement and have the little bloodsuckers expose themselves.

Introduce Camp Procedures:

  • Thorough procedures to train new staff.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy.
  • Contract professional pest controllers.

Prep For Treatment:

  • Have enough skin cream containing hydrocortisone to treat groups of people.
  • Some type of oral antihistamine (Diphenhydramine/Benadryl)
  • Prep antibiotics in case of inflammation.

What To Do Before You Enter Home After Camping?

  • Prep for thorough inspection far enough from your home.
  • Take everything out of your luggage.
  • Seal everything in bags.
  • Use repellent to provoke bed bug action.
  • Put in the dryer for more than a single cycle.

Signs of Bed Bug Infestations:

  • Dark specks.
  • Light brown empty exoskeletons.
  • Bloody smears.

Can Bed Bugs Attack You When Outside?

While bed bugs only live indoors, they are notoriously resilient and can survive and spread outside. And if you spend enough time nearby a, lets say, bed-bug-infested mattress left outside, you can totally onboard a little bloodsucker on your way home.

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Author: Dmitri Kara

Started as a jack of all trades back in early 2012, Dmitri Kara is currently a recognised expert in a wide range of domestic and commercial trades. Dmitri has appeared for quite a few reputable outlets such as, Metro.News,,,,,,, and many more.

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