Creepy-crawly alert

The bedbugs are back and there's going to be some trouble ... I've periodically been hearing about the resurgence of bedbugs in the U.S. nowadays, but it hit close to home this summer when a friend's house briefly became a haven for the little nippers. She managed to eradicate them, but it made for a tough summer for her and her family.

Because I don't want you to have to go through what she did, here's some tips from HomeTeam Pest Defense that one of my colleagues (thanks, Lisa!) sent me. If you follow them, hopefully you won't end up bringing an uninvited guest home with you from your next meeting or site visit:

• Don't put your luggage on the bed. Use the luggage rack and make sure you pull it away from the wall.

• Don't unpack your clothes in the hotel drawers. It may be more inconvenient, but live out of your suitcase.

• It helps to travel with a flashlight. Use it to check the headboard, and under the drawers in the end tables. Lift up the mattress and look underneath. Check the sheets and pillows, particularly the seams. You're looking for both bed bugs and any telltale black or brown blood spots.

• Don't hesitate to ask for a new room if you see any signs of bed bugs.

• When you're ready to check out, pack all of your clothes into plastic bags. When you get home, put those clothes in the washer immediately or send them out to the dry cleaners.

• Grab the vacuum and thoroughly vacuum out your suitcase.

• This next tip may sound excessive, but if you can freeze your clothes-even your suitcase-it's an excellent way to kill off those bed bugs.

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