How to Prevent and Protect from Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are undeniably the worst hitchhikers with a growing concern over recent years. A survey by Bugs without Borders identified that pest professionals deal with bed bugs more than any other critter, including fleas and cockroaches.
Bed bugs easily move from one infested site to new homes through
- and bedding’s.
They are also stubborn to exterminate, making them dangerous visitors in your home.
That said, regardless of whether you find one bug in your cloth or a fully-fledged infestation on the mattress, taking the necessary steps to eliminate them is not an option.
following the simple steps below can reduce the chances of finding bedbugs in your home.
Get Familiar with Signs of Bed Bugs
Identifying what a bed bug or bed bug infestation looks like is the foremost way to stop a small infestation from becoming a full-blown crisis.
This involves identifying the color, size, shape, and other characteristics of a bed bug for easy identification.
Bed bugs are:
- and wingless insects
measuring approximately 0.25-inch long.
Bed bugs commonly hide behind box springs, bed frames, wall outlets, floor cracks, behind clocks and pictures, and mattresses.
These insects also occasionally hide in fecal deposits, blood spots, and behind casings. They prefer dark red surfaces or brown smears to camouflage their appearance.
Protecting Your Home
If you have dealt with bed bugs before, you definitely understand that it is a nightmare to avoid. There are several ways to protect your home from bed bugs.
Purchasing mattresses, bed bugs interceptors, and box springs encasement are probably the easiest ways to avoid bed bug related infestations.
You should as well replace your mattress and box springs after 3 years to eliminate possible contamination.
Using plastic protective covers on the mattress and box springs can keep off the bed bugs from infesting your bed. Plastic covers are effective compared to regular mattress covers or sheets in eliminating hiding places. The covers trap and starve any bed bugs hiding in your mattress or box springs.
Consider disposing of the mattress and box springs if they have already been infested. Trying to remove them might not be effective.
Vacuuming your carpets and rugs regularly is another effective way of protecting your home from bed bugs.
Vacuuming daily is recommended, especially if you suspect that you have been exposed to bed bugs.
you should dispose of the contents carefully in a sealed plastic bag.
Using essential oils to repel bed bugs also come in handy in protecting your home from bed bugs. Fortunately, a plethora of scent options that can keep the bed bugs away is available.
- tea tree
- and clove
are just but a few scents to mention.
Add your scent of choice to a cup quarter full of water and spray it on various items, including your handbags, backpacks, luggage, and totes.
Decluttering your home and installing door jams and sweeps also prevent bed bugs infestation. Clutter provides an ample space for bed bugs to hide and multiply.
Clearing the clutter minimizes hiding spots for bugs, making it easy to keep them out. Door sweeps and jams, on the other hand, are essential if you live in a crowded neighborhood.
They seal off your apartment by blocking the gap below the door, making it difficult for bed bugs to crawl in. You should as well proactively repair cracks on the walls and ceilings.
Preventing Bed Bugs While Traveling
You should be cautious to avoid bed bug contamination while traveling. As such, begin by thoroughly inspecting the bed, upholstered furniture, and nightstand after checking in for signs of bed bugs.
Move the sheets, check the crevices of mattresses, and box springs for any signs of reddish-brown bugs, yellow skins, egg casings, and small red spots. If you find any signs of bed bugs or wake up to bites, you should report to the management immediately.
Another good way of preventing contamination is by keeping your luggage far from the hotel bed. Even after thorough inspection with no signs of bed bugs, it is prudent to avoid placing your belongings on the bed.
bed bugs can hide in traveling bags, and you can carry them back home from your trip. Leave your bag in the bathtub or any other place in the room, unlikely to pick bugs.
After your trips, wash your travel clothes separately from another laundry. You should as well wash all the clothes you took on the trip, even if you didn’t wear them.
Use the highest setting that the fabric of the cloth can withstand or dry clean them for assured cleanliness and disinfection.
Handle Discarded or Second-Hand Items with Caution
You should avoid discarded furniture and cautious when buying second-hand items. Second-hand items carry the biggest risks of bed bug infestation.
If you choose to buy second-hand clothing or furniture, a quick but thorough inspection can save you from the nightmare of dealing with a bed bug infestation.
Bed frames and mattresses, in particular, have the largest chance of harboring the bugs and their eggs.
If you have no option but to purchase second-hand items, treat them with effective insecticide sprays, especially those that kill the bugs and eggs on contact.
Other shoppers or contact with bugs infested parcels during shipping can also infect new clothes. As such, pay close attention to seams of new items for telltale signs of bed bugs.
Similarly, you should minimize contact with the surface at shared laundry areas. You shouldn’t let your clothes sit in the dryer or washer for long.
Once your clothes are done drying, remove, and place them in your container as quickly as possible. Avoid using facility carts or using the shared folding table. Prefer folding your clothes at home to minimize picking up bugs that might have traveled with other people.
Monitor Your Pets and its Beddings for Critters
Even though bed bugs don’t live on pets, they can feed on them, just like they feed on people. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation acknowledges that bed bugs can infest your home through your pet’s fur, clothing, and bedding.
if you own pets, regularly inspect them and their bedding’s for signs of bed bugs. You should as well clean the bedding’s thoroughly with high heat.
Bed bugs are terrible and stubborn insects to exterminate. As such, detecting them early and preventing an infestation is the best way to avoid dealing with a full-fledged infestation.
The measures outlined above can help you protect your home and items from contacting bed bugs.
if you notice an infestation later, you should start treatment immediately as a small infestation can multiply rapidly.