Bed Bug Prevention
Preventing a Bed Bug infestation can often times be much easier than treating one. You might be asking yourself what you can do to prevent Bed Bugs in your home? Lucky for you there are many different tactics you can utilize to keep your home and most importantly, your family, Bed Bug free!
You may think that you are only vulnerable to Bed Bugs when moving or vacationing, but it is also possible to bring Bed Bugs home from any public location such as retail stores, your workplace, public transportation and entertainment venues.
The number one thing you should do is to be aware of your surroundings. This advice applies to traveling as well as your own home. Bed Bugs are great at traveling and you could pick them up from almost any place where people sit, stand, sleep, or visit. Taking some small prevention steps could help protect you and potentially your family from dealing with this pesky insect. Here are some tips to keep in mind when out and about:
While you are inspecting the items below keep an eye out for fecal matter, active bed bugs, moltings, and eggs.
Bed Bug Fecal Matter
Bed Bug Molting
Active Bed Bug
Bed Bug Eggs
Hotels are a contributing factor as to why we have seen a resurgence of bed bugs over the last few decades. It does not matter if you are staying at a 5 star hotel or a more affordable option, bed bugs do not discriminate! Any time you are staying in a hotel there are a few things to check for:
-Keep clothing & bagging off the floors and out of the drawers. Make it a good practice to use the luggage rack to keep your bags & other items off of the floor.
-Check all of the bedding for any signs of bed bugs. Make sure all bedding is clean and there are no signs of bed bug activity.
-Mattresses and box springs are popular spots for bed bugs to populate. While you are checking the bedding take a moment to inspect the seams of the furniture. This is a very common place for bed bugs to hide.
-Check the headboards, night stands, and drawers for bed bug activity.
-Bed Bugs like to travel from room to room via power outlets. Briefly inspect any outlet covers to make sure there is no fecal matter left behind.
Traveling by Air, Bus, or Train
Always be aware of your surroundings while you are onboard. If you detect any live bed bugs while on the plane/bus make sure to inform your attendant as soon as possible. Any prevention steps taken to prevent bed bugs from happening while flying/riding would involve after you have left the airport or station and have arrived at your destination. If you are concerned about taking bed bugs after leaving the airport or station we recommend that you run all clothing items through a high heat wash & dry cycle in laundry machines. The high heat temperatures should kill off all stages of bed bugs that could have arrived with you. Bed bugs have a thermal depth of 117 degrees, at this point all stages will start to die. If your facilities do not reach this temperature you may have to use a public laundry facility with commercial grade laundry machines. This would be a good habit to get into after each time that you travel. It is a minor step you can take to prevent a much bigger problem later on.
No matter how you are traveling it is important to notify an employee of any bed bug activity detected immediately.
-Stay Tidy. Clutter gives bed bugs many opportunities to find new harborages. Make it a good practice to keep your dwelling clean and tidy. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis. Not only will this help prevent bed bugs, but it will also lead to a healthier lifestyle.
-Mattress & Box Springs Covers. This is an affordable tool to use that is effective in combating bed bugs. Over half the time these insects are found on the mattress and box springs. Using these covers will lock bed bugs out, but will also starve out any bed bugs that could already be hiding. Make sure if you install these covers to not tear any portion. If the cover tears then it is useless.
-Wash clothing and bedding. This goes back to keeping your dwelling tidy and clean. It would be beneficial to make a good habit of regularly washing your clothes and bedding sheets in high heat wash & dry cycles.
-USED FURNITURE. Be very careful when purchasing used furniture. If you are going to do this make sure to ask whomever you are purchasing from if they have ever treated the items or if they have ever encountered any bed bugs. NEVER pick up furniture from dumpsters. Have you ever seen a mattress at a dumpster and it looked brand new? May seem like a good deal, but you are more than likely getting more than you bargained for. Many people believe simply throwing out their mattresses and box springs will eliminate bed bugs. This belief is false, it simply presents the opportunity for bed bugs to spread to another host.