Everyone wants to avoid bed bugs – so here are some tips to help decrease the chances of bringing bed bugs home.
Useful Information about Bed Bugs
If you have ever had bed bugs, or know friends or family that have dealt with them, then you know just how annoying and painful they can be. No matter how old you are, where you are from, or what your economic or social status is, you are at risk of getting bed bugs. That being said, it is not a matter of how to never get bed bugs, but a matter of how to best decrease your chances of having an infestation. Just the fact that you are reading this article is a step in the right direction to help you prevent bed bugs from entering your home. Before jumping straight in to the best ways to avoid a bed bug infestation, it is also good to familiarize yourself with what bed bugs and bed bug eggs look like. Even more, it will be important to know the signs of an infestation so you can avoid bed bugs altogether, inside and outside your home. (Click HERE to read about bed bug identification and detection).
Bed bugs are small, brownish-red bugs about a ¼ inch in size, while younger bugs and eggs are even smaller. They typically live within 6 feet of your bed or other areas, such as couches, if you spend extended amounts of time in that area. The reason that they stay close so close to those pieces of furniture is that bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide released by human bodies. They don’t need to eat every day, but rather every 2-3 days. Once they are fully mature adult bed bugs, they will start to lay eggs around the area of interest. While the majority of people will have a skin reaction to bed bug bites, a third of people do not have a physical reaction, so you could be getting bit but not even know it. READ MORE
Declutter your Home and Living Spaces
While clutter does not increase the odds of you getting bed bugs, it could prolong the infestation as there are many more places for the bugs to hide. Once the bugs enter your home, they will find the best hiding places around your bed or couch. The more clutter around these areas, the harder it will be to locate and detect the bugs, which can lead to a large infestation. Once the infestation has been identified, treatment can be started. The more clutter there is, though, the harder it is during a treatment. Every additional object in your room is another place the bugs could be hiding under. To ensure the best treatment if you do end up getting bed bugs, it is best to declutter your house BEFORE an infestation occurs. Avoid piling clothes and books near your bed, as these make perfect hiding places for bed bugs. READ MORE
For more information on how the danger of clutter in your home, CLICK HERE
Be Smart when you Travel and Take Precautions
Once you know what bed bugs look like and the evidence they leave behind, it is a good idea to inspect any place you sleep outside of your home, such as a hotel or motel, in order to detect any signs of a bed bug infestation so you can prevent spreading them.
You may want to use protective cover for the beds you sleep on.
Some signs of bed bugs can include fecal matter, bed bug shells, eggs, and live bugs. These will be easier to spot in your home, as you are the most likely the main person who sleeps in the bed and changes out the bedding.
When it comes to hotels and other forms of temporary/vacation housing, it can be harder to find evidence of bugs on the bed linens. It may prove especially challenging to find evidence on sheets as those are frequently changed in the hospitality industry, such as in a hotel room or Airbnb. With this being the case, you will want to check the mattress, bed sheets, box springs, bed frame, headboards, mattress and box springs, upholstered furniture, plastic bags, secondhand furniture, and nightstands as well for any signs of bed bugs. All of these places are perfect for bed bugs to hide. Know that depending on the box spring or headboard that you have, you could be more prone to harboring bed bugs if an infestation occurs.
Also, to avoid a bed bug infestation, refrain from putting your luggage or clothing on the bed of the hotel room. Instead, use the luggage rack as far away from the bed as possible or place your luggage in the bathroom or bathtub.
Additionally, you may want to inspect your luggage before you bring it back into your home. Some even suggest that you launder all clothes whether or not they were worn on your vacation.
Be Careful in Secondhand Store and with Secondhand Items
When purchasing items from a secondhand store or seeing great “deals” on the side of the road, you need to be vigilant with inspecting items before you bring them into your home; it is not uncommon for these items to contain bed bugs. A friend of ours recently found a perfectly good piece of luggage that had been discarded by its previous owner. Upon closer inspection, to his dismay, he found several bed bugs crawling in the suitcase! Any clothes purchased at a secondhand store should be washed and dried thoroughly before you wear them. You want to avoid bed bugs when it is in your power to do so!
What to do If You Find Bed Bugs
If you find bed bugs in your home, we believe that heat treatments are one of the best ways to kill bed bugs and eliminate them from your home. You should not just avoid them! Give us a call to learn about our DIY bed bug heater rentals or our full-service options (in New England only). We offer a FREE phone consultation to determine the course of action that is best for your situation. With a heat treatment, you can be bed bug-free in 24 hours. We are here to help! READ MORE