Avoid hitch-hikers this holiday season!

Over the next few weeks, many of us will be packing up the family and hitting the road for some well-earned time away. While bringing home souvenirs from your trip is all part of the fun, quite often you may pick up some unwanted guests on your travels, and unknowingly bring them home with you too.

Here are our Top Tips on how to avoid pests coming home with you this holiday season.

1. Ants
Ants On Food

  • Keep all foods sealed in air tight containers.
  • Avoid attracting ants to your camping area and personal belongings by storing food items in a separate area.
  • Use a broom, dust pan and brush to sweep out the caravan, camper trailer prior to heading home.

Insects like ants are ideal hitch-hikers. Migrating ants such as Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) have been able to infest soils, potted plants and hay bales, before being transported away from the area. Once ‘off-loaded’ at the new area, they can quickly establish a new colony.

 

2.  Bed Bugs

Do you really think your suitcase couldn't pick up bed bugs?

Do you really think your suitcase couldn’t pick up bed bugs?

  • When travelling with suitcases – DO NOT PUT SUITCASES ON BEDS!! This provides an ideal opportunity for Bed Bugs to enter the suitcase. If necessary, place suitcases in the rooms wardrobe.
  • Do NOT store your suitcase under the bed, as this allows Bed Bugs easy access to enter the suitcase. If necessary, place suitcases in the room’s wardrobe.
  • Check fold out sofa beds for Bed Bugs, as these insects conceal themselves well in and around all the cracks and crevices within.
  • Check the bed, bed base and bed mattress – particularly the mattress folds and seams – for any sign of blood spotting, staining, eggs or bugs (see photo below). Discretely notify reception of any pest problems you may find.
Bed bugs found in the corner of a mattress

This is what you’re looking for – bed bugs in the corner of a mattress

 

3.  Flies (Maggots)

  • Keep all foods sealed in air tight containers.
  • Regular rubbish removal (daily) from around campsite areas will deter fly presence and persistent activity.

 

A reaction to mozzie bites after a brief walk at dusk

A reaction to mozzie bites after a brief walk at dusk

4.  Mosquitoes

  • Reduce your exposure time by modifying your outdoor activities
  • Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Peak mosquito activity around dusk (4 – 6 pm). Some mosquitoes prefer to attack outdoors while a few species will bite indoors, primarily biting human hosts.
  • Use personal repellents in situations where high risk of mosquito activity is expected, use of personal repellents will provide protection against these biting insect pests. Many travel medicine experts recommend repellents containing DEET.

 

5.  Ticks/Fleas

You can still enjoy the great outdoors!

You can still enjoy the great outdoors!

  • Check everybody (adults/children/pets) including shoes and clothing when leaving high risk areas (e.g. Bushland / long grassed areas). Ticks/Fleas are ideally suited to hitching a ride on a host.
  • Pay careful attention and brush yourself off before you get into your vehicle.
  • Use personal repellents in areas of high risks and exposure to Ticks/Fleas is possible, use of personal repellents will provide protection against biting insect pests.

 

Follow these tips and you are much less likely to bring home those unwanted guests these holidays.

 

Happy travels!