Bed bugs are opportunistic creatures. They’re small and can get into your home without being noticed. Some might hide in your clothing, or creep through cracks in the walls or come in along wiring conduits and pipes. They’ve even been known to get in via luggage or on used furniture. The best ways to avoid bed bugs start here, although there are many ways you can prevent an infestation.
Check Everything Brought Home
Since they can be anywhere, you should always be on the lookout for these insects. Wash and dry clothes on hot settings if you have any suspicion whatsoever you’ve been exposed. If you can’t get to a laundry machine, then seal items in a plastic bag until that’s possible.
Also check every surface, bed, and piece of furniture where you travel. Bed bugs have infested small motel rooms and even 5-star hotels. Try to keep the suitcase off the floor. Inspect all your items before you leave. It only takes a handful, or just one pregnant female, to begin an infestation somewhere else. Plus, they can live for months without feeding so a day or two in transit won’t hurt.
Some people are tempted to save money by claiming old mattresses, upholstered furniture, or beds off the street. This is generally a bad idea. You’re likely to spend more on bed bug remediation later on. These items may have been thrown out because they were infested in the first place.
Even if you rent furniture from a reputable source, be sure to check it thoroughly. Bugs can get in during transit or be there without anyone knowing it.
Keeping your home clean and uncluttered is good for many reasons. If you have too many things lying around, it makes your home unsightly and also gives bed bugs more hiding places. It pays off in many ways to be neat.
In addition, sheets, blankets, and clothing that comes in contact with the floor should be washed regularly and dried with heat. The laundry bin and hamper are safe havens. Clean these as well with each laundry. Washing can significantly reduce the number of bugs and prevent them from getting out of control.
Regular vacuuming is effective as well. It can suck up insects and their eggs from mattresses, carpeting, furniture, and more, but during infestations, it’s not a cure-all. If you suspect bed bugs are present, remove the bag afterwards, seal it, and throw it away outside. Bagless vacuums should be cleaned thoroughly before stored or used again.
DIY In the Home
Purchase a caulking material and seal up any cracks or crevices you see. These only have to be as wide as a credit card for bed bugs to crawl through. This is a good idea even if you’ve never had bed bugs and can stop other pests as well. The smallest spaces can allow uninvited guests to come in from other apartments, outside, and other rooms of your home.
If you know what to look for, you can detect bed bugs early. Droppings, tiny eggs, and blood stains can be found on any surface. They’re generally prone to staying within 20 feet of sleeping areas or anywhere you commonly stay. Record your findings as this can help a pest control technician greatly.
If You See a Bed Bug
There are many insects that look similar. A technique for confirming a bed bug is to use a clear piece of tape. Attach the bug to it and stick that on white paper. Now you can check it against pictures of bed bugs or consult with a pest control professional.
While the problem is widespread and ugly, it’s important not to panic. You can still avoid an infestation. Call a pest expert or your landlord right away so even a small problem can be dealt with promptly. Many people try to get rid of these pests alone, in haste, which ends up spreading them and making the issue much worse.
Prevention Is Key
There are many methods on how to avoid bed bugs. Clean habits and being vigilant about anything brought home, even luggage, will help to keep them out. After all, the best bed bug treatment is prevention.
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