Although musicians live lives of notoriety, that does not make them immune to the threat of bed bugs. Those hitchhiking blood suckers show no favoritism. They don’t care who you are or what you do or how many albums you sold.
In the last week, two of the artists I follow on Twitter sent a tweet about bed bugs. At first, I felt sorry for them. Bed bugs are annoying. They can lead to panic and hysteria. And the marks of their meals leave welts on the humans on whom they feast.
Soon, my feeling of sympathy was replaced with a rising sense of duty to tell the rest of the music world about bed bugs.
You see, I used to work in the Christian publishing industry. That’s actually the reason I moved to Nashvegas. I’ve met a lot of popular artists. I reviewed their CDs and attended their shows. I cared–and still do care–about them.
Without further adieu, here are my recommendations as a music lover and pest control professional:
* Each manager, publicist, and booking agent should explicitly explain the threat of bed bugs to their artists. Perhaps–between all the parties involved–the severity of the message will be conveyed. It may seem ridiculous to do that, but the threat of bed bugs is real!
* Update your tour rider. Specifically request that all of your accommodations are bed bug free. Seriously.
* Designate a personal assistant or crew member to check for signs of bed bugs at each venue. This includes rented transportation, green rooms, and especially hotels. Instruct one of the members of your crew to check for bed bugs before you unpack your clothing. For tips on what to look for, read our blog Snug as a Bed Bug in a Rug: Tips for Dealing with Bed Bugs.
* If you discover bed bugs in a hotel room, request a room that does not neighbor the original room. And try to move to a different floor. If one room has bed bugs, they can travel through the wall outlets to neighboring rooms.
* When traveling, never store your suitcase on a couch, bed, or the floor. Place the suitcase on a table or on one of the pop up suitcase holders usually available in hotel rooms.
* When you get home from tour, immediately wash all of your clothing! Often the heat of the washing/drying process will kill any bugs that are present.
* Tell other artists about the threat of bed bugs. This is a story worth swapping. You may save your fellow traveler some serious coin by informing them.
* If you discover bed bugs in your home, call a pest management professional. I’m not saying this because I work for a pest control company and I want you to call us. I’m saying this because I love you and I’ve read too many articles about DIY bed bug treatments gone bad.
* If you need more information on this subject, post a comment or call us at 615-217-7284. We will gladly teach you what to look for when you’re traveling. We can tell you all about the signs of bed bugs.
We’d love to discuss this with you and offer any educational resources you may need. If you live in the Nashville area, we may even be able to arrange a meeting with artists, record labels, managers, booking agents, etc. And if we’re feeling really ambitious, perhaps a seminar at GMA Week.
If you’re still reading and you are or you’re associated with a country/rock/alternative/emo/punk/screamo/metal/kidz bop/opera/etc. music star, I also care about you. This blog’s for you, too.
It’s also for movie stars. Or TV stars.
Or anyone. Any human. Benefits to all! :)