Bed bugs are out there and becoming evermore the problem. How you can you protect yourself from getting bed bugs in your home? There is never a guarantee for keeping bed bugs from your home, but following these tips to prevent bed bugs in your home will help for sure.
- Know a little bit about what are bed bugs and how bed bugs operate will help you. We’ve covered bed bugs in a number of places on our website.
- Never, never, never, ever pick up furniture from the side of the road or an unknown source and bring it into your home, church, or business. This might seem like a no-brainer, but people do this all the time. College students seem to have this practice down to a science and will often times bring bed bugs into their dorms and then bring them home. If you do not know the origins of some furniture then let it be. Even if it is a huge leather recliner sofa that’d be perfect to start off your ‘man cave’ just let it stay there. You can buy that leather recliner sofa new for what you might spend in getting rid of bed bugs.
- Check before you travel. If you travel a lot then you can check whether or not the hotel you are going to has had bed bug related issues. All levels of hotels have had bed bug issues, so staying at the Ritz Carlton versus the Hampton Inn (we really like the Hampton, no slight there) will not alone protect you. Use Bed Bug Registry ahead of your travel to see if there is anything you should be concerned about. Many hotels these days will have a pest control company (such as ours) who is regularly inspecting and treating possible bed bug situations. Though this bed bug treatment practice might be alarming, it is a good thing to know that your hotel is actively looking and treating for bed bugs. The other option is a hotel that is turning that ‘blind eye’ to the possible problem.
- Inspect your hotel room. Sheets are changed regularly in a hotel, so you will most likely not find bed bugs there. You can look onto the head board, box spring, and the mattress for some of those blood and fecal smears, not to mention actual bed bugs. Peal back the mattress folds and look under the buttons to see if there is anything hiding in there. Take off the headboard to inspect behind there. Usually this is attached to the wall (have yet to stay at hotel where this wasn’t the case) and is not unreasonably heavy. These least disturbed areas will give you a quick idea if there was/is an issue with the room. Inspecting a dorm or summer camp place is a legitimate practice as well.
- When traveling you can keep your luggage and clothes off the ground on the bag caddie. You can even go one step further and put all your luggage in the tub of the bathroom. Bed bugs need something to climb to get to your luggage or clothes in order to ‘hitchhike’ back to your house. They do not do very well climbing slick surfaces which would keep them from finding their way into your luggage.
- Heat everything first. One of the most thorough and proven techniques for killing bed bugs is to kill them with heat. If you are home from a trip (college, camp, travel, etc.), then pull all your clothes and items (that can withstand this) and put them in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes. This will kill possible bed bugs. Do not wash the clothes first, the water temperature is never hot enough to kill bed bugs. Leaving clothes around for a day or so and then trying this will probably be ineffective as they will have moved off the clothes to find food (your family). So heat everything right when you get home.
- Clean and steam regularly. If you are keeping your house clean by vacuuming and steaming then you will do your psyche good for having a clean home, but you are also setting up some real protection for your home. Steam cleaning will raise the temperature in areas that bed bugs hide. If hot enough the steam cleaning can kill off the bugs, at the very least it will set them into an active frenzy that will let you know their presence. From there you should call on a professional pest service that knows how to treat and get rid of bed bugs. We would like to think you’d call us.
- Don’t try and do a heat treatment on your house/apartment, do alcohol application treatments, or burn your furniture in the yard to treat on your own. Yes, people have tried this with disastrous results. Give us a call and we will be able to perform a thorough inspection of the dwelling, isolate areas of possible activity, safely and professionally treat and remove bed bugs without you becoming a next Associated Press headline.