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PNW Pest News: Woman Stung by Scorpion on Airplane to PDX

Alaksa Airlines flight taking offIn February 2015, an Alaskan Airline flight from Los Angeles to Portland was delayed for about an hour for a unique reason: a scorpion stung a passenger. While the flight originated out of Los Cabos, Mexico, no one knows exactly when the venomous arachnid became a stowaway (and no one on the flight claimed it as a pet). Luckily, the incident occurred just before the plane took off.

Oregon pest control experts state that after the scorpion was killed, the airline’s crew did the right thing by inspecting overhead luggage compartments for any other “passengers” without a ticket. While scorpion attacks rarely occur on flights, pest encounters while traveling are a disturbing trend.

Travel Tips from Portland Pest Management Specialists

The biggest pest-related threats when you travel are bed bugs. You can find them anywhere in the country, from planes to hotels rooms to guest rooms at friends’ houses. To prevent bringing home an unwanted roommate, Oregon pest management specialists recommend the following:

  • Inspect the room: Whether you’re at a friend’s house or hotel, inspect the room before your suitcases touch the floor. Place them on metal luggage racks or in the bathtub instead. Using a flashlight, look for signs of bed bugs behind, along and under the mattress. Check the curtains and around nightstands, baseboards and headboards. Look under the bed and on any upholstered items in the room.
  • Inspect the seat, seat pockets and overhead luggage compartment: When traveling by air or on a train, inspect your seat, the seat pocket and luggage compartments for signs of bed bugs. For extra protection, ask for a seat cover.
  • While in a room: Keep your luggage a few inches away from the walls and place your suitcase on metal luggage racks instead of the floor (bedbugs prefer wood to metal). If possible, move the bed away from the wall, too. Place your clothes and traveling accessories in zippered plastic bags and keep them in the bags during your trip.
  • When you get home: Unpack your suitcase outside. Immediately wash dirty clothes in hot water. Similarly, place clean clothes in the dryer and let them tumble on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes to kill any bud bugs that may have come with you. Then use a vacuum to clean the suitcase. Place the luggage in a plastic bag before storing it.

The only thing that’s worse than encountering bed bugs when you travel is bringing them home. If you suspect that you may have a bed bug problem, contact Eden right away. 

[ Photo by: Alaskan Dude, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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