Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years and are famous in households around the world – but not in a good way. You need to keep your home bed-bug free so we are going to address many ways you can accomplish this.
These notorious pests are known as one of the most difficult bugs to get rid of. Bed bugs are tiny parasites that tend to feed on people while they sleep and can cause a range of health problems such as skin rashes, allergic reactions, and insomnia.
Unfortunately, they are excellent hitchhikers and can travel from one place to another very easily. As a homeowner, it’s so important that you take precautions and implement certain measures to keep your home bed-bug-free.
In this blog post, we’ll share some valuable tips on how you can do just that.
Tips to Keep Your Home Bed Bug Free
Bed bugs can be hard to detect and even harder to eliminate. Here are a few ways you can keep these common bugs out of your home.
Practice Regular Cleaning and Decluttering
One of the most effective ways to keep your home bed bug free is to practice regular cleaning and decluttering. Vacuum the carpets, rugs, and furniture on a regular basis, paying close attention to cracks, crevices, and seams where bugs might hide. Also, remember to dispose of your vacuum cleaner bag in an outside trash bin after every use to prevent any bed bugs from escaping.
Removing clutter in your living space is another effective way to keep bed bugs at bay. Clutter provides additional hiding spots for bed bugs, making it harder to detect and eliminate them.
Get rid of any unnecessary items, and make sure to store belongings in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.
Laundering your bedding, linens, and clothing frequently can also help prevent bed bugs. You should also clean and disinfect your mattress. Using hot water and high heat drying settings can help kill any potential bed bugs or eggs. It’s important to remember to place any infested items in a plastic bag and take them directly to the washing machine to avoid spreading any bed bugs.
Inspect Second-Hand Items
When shopping for second-hand furniture or mattresses, don’t just look at the surface. Bed bugs are tiny and can hide in crevices and folds. Use a flashlight to inspect every nook and cranny.
Look for dark spots, which could be a sign of bed bug excrement. You might even see live bed bugs crawling around. If you’re not sure what bed bugs look like, do a quick Google search to familiarize yourself with their appearance, so you can keep your home bed-bug free.
If you’re purchasing second-hand items, it’s a good idea to consider treating them with heat before bringing them home. Bed bugs can’t survive in temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use a clothes dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes to kill any bed bugs. Alternatively, consider contacting a professional bed bug elimination service to do a heat treatment or chemical treatment to ensure complete bed bug removal.
Clothing is another item that can harbor bed bugs. Before you buy any used clothing, give it a thorough visual inspection. Look for live bugs, eggs, or fecal stains. Wash and dry the clothing on high heat to eliminate any potential bed bugs. If you can’t wash an item in hot water, consider placing it in a sealed plastic bag and leaving it in the freezer for a few days. This should kill any bed bugs.
Believe it or not, books, electronics, and other items can also harbor bed bugs. When inspecting these items, look for any signs of bed bugs, such as dark spots or live bugs. If you’re unsure, consider placing the item in a sealed plastic bag and leaving it in the sun for a few hours. The heat will kill any bed bugs.
Create a Bed Bug-Proof Environment
The best way to deal with bed bugs is to prevent them from ever entering your home in the first place – and you can do this by creating a bed bug-proof environment.
For example, you can prevent them from getting into your bed by encasing your mattress, box spring and pillows with bed bug-proof covers. These specially designed covers are made from materials that bed bugs can’t penetrate, and they have zippers that create a tight seal to prevent infestations. If you already have bed bugs, these covers can also trap them inside and keep them from biting you while you sleep.
You should also take steps to seal up any potential entrances to your home.
This includes patching up cracks in your walls, filling gaps in baseboards, and fixing any peeling wallpaper. By eliminating these entry points, you’ll make it much harder for bed bugs to invade your home.
And remember, cluttered spaces provide hiding places for bed bugs, making them harder to eliminate. To help prevent infestations, it’s important to keep clutter to a minimum in your home.
Exercise Caution When Traveling
Many times, bed bugs get into your homes because we unknowingly allow them to hitchhike back with us after we’ve been traveling.
When you arrive at a hotel, take a few minutes to inspect your room thoroughly for any signs of bed bugs. Start by checking the mattress, headboard, box spring, bed frame, and furniture for signs of bed bugs, including small rust-colored spots, shed bed bug skins, and live insects.
Use a flashlight to look into crevices and cracks, as bed bugs love to hide in tight spaces. If you notice any signs of bed bugs, let the hotel staff know immediately, and request a room change or a refund.
When you’re staying in a hotel, keep your luggage elevated and away from beds and upholstered furniture. Bed bugs can easily climb up onto suitcases and other luggage and hide inside to travel with you back to your home. Use luggage racks that are away from the bed and keep your bags closed when not in use.
Remember to launder all your clothing and wash or dry items such as backpacks, hats, and scarfs on high heat as soon as possible after returning home, too.
Be Mindful of Shared Spaces
Public transportation is a breeding ground for bed bugs. The seats, floors, and overhead bins can all harbor bed bugs that have traveled from someone else’s home.
Here are some tips on how to travel safely:
Avoid placing your belongings, such as backpacks, purses, or coats, on the floor or seats of the bus, subway, or train. Bed bugs can easily crawl onto them and hitch a ride to your home.
If you must sit on public transportation, use a protective cover, such as a blanket or a jacket, to create a barrier between you and the seat. Bed bugs prefer fabric surfaces and can easily hide in crevices and folds.
Be aware of your surroundings and inspect the seat, cushion, and armrest before sitting down. Look for signs of bed bugs, such as blood spots, fecal stains, or live bugs.
Public spaces, such as libraries, coffee shops, waiting rooms, and cinemas, are also potential sources of bed bug infestation. You never know who sat on that chair before you, or whose bag was on that table.
Bring your protective cover or barrier, such as a towel, a sheet, or a portable seat, when going to public places. Use it to create a barrier between you and the shared furniture or surface. Don’t forget to wash the cover after each use to prevent contamination.
Also be cautious when using public lockers or coat hooks. Bed bugs can hide in the crevices and corners and can easily hitchhike on your coat or bag.
Final Thoughts to Keep Your Home Bed-bug Free
Bed bug infestations can happen to anyone, but they don’t have to be a nightmare. Being proactive and implementing preventive measures can help stop bed bugs from invading your home.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure. However, if bed bugs do find their way into your home, don’t hesitate to call a pest control company. They can help eliminate these pests and make it possible for you to sleep tight once again.