Dealing with a bed bug problem is a major disruption. There are various ways to eradicate and kill them, from home remedies to professional extermination. The best method, however, is prevention. Avoiding an infestation doesn’t only involve being obsessive compulsive about checking for the tiny, flat insects, their droppings, or eggs. The following tips will help you live a bed bug free life.
Cleanliness is good practice no matter what. By washing your bedding frequently and vacuuming the carpets, floors, and couches, it lessens the chances that any possible insects can stay for very long. Clean up your hampers and laundry containers too. Bed bugs can hide undetected until they have a chance to escape.
Clutter also supports their way of life. Small insects can easily hide near or in unused items, toys, boxes, or whatever else is lying around. If you do get bed bugs, it is much more difficult and time consuming to deal with clutter and more hiding spots than otherwise.
Keep the Hiding Places at a Minimum
Decluttering your home is a great idea for preventing bed bugs. You should also check if there are cracks in the walls, or spaces where pipes or wires pass through. Use a sealant to close up any spaces. If there is peeling wall paper, glue it tight so there’s no easy place to hide. Mattress covers are a good idea too. They prevent insects from sneaking in and keep in ones that might be there, isolating them from food sources.
Be Careful Bringing Anything Home
If you want to know how to prevent bed bugs when you travel, be careful with your luggage. Try to keep your suitcase above the floor. Make sure to check them for anything unusual before leaving. Always inspect beds and furniture in motel/hotel rooms or anywhere you travel to, because these creatures thrive on being transported from one place to another.
Use a vacuum to clean your luggage in case any bugs have hitched a ride. Always empty the vacuum cleaner outside and into a plastic bag. Seal and trash it outside as well. Another good tip is to separate travel clothes from the rest of your laundry and wash them in hot water.
If you see a discarded mattress, box spring, or upholstered furniture on the street, it’s not an invitation to save money. It’s one for bed bugs. Never bring these kinds of items into the home. Even if you buy used furniture or rent it, check it thoroughly before finalizing your decision.
If you find yourself in a place bed bugs are suspected, wash and dry clothing on the hottest settings. Seal everything in a plastic bag until you are able to wash it. Even check furniture and mattresses you throw out. Old mattresses should be slashed or destroyed to avoid transmitting bed bugs by accident.
What If I See a Bed Bug?
If you do happen to see one, it’s not necessarily a cause or panic. You should be thorough in looking for evidence of more, and consider professional help because it’s easy to spread them to other rooms. If you spot some when traveling, contact the main desk of the accommodation you stay at.
Some people respond by throwing away everything they own. This is usually not necessary, and is very expensive. You may be doing more harm than good because moving infested items only gives the insects more opportunities to spread.
Consider the options as well. Depending on the scope of the problem and where you live, certain treatments may work better than others. A Virginia Tech paper describes various non-chemical methods that have proven to be effective. It also provides a few tips that help when there is a problem. There’s more insight on removing clutter and other preventative measures, plus knowing when to seek professional help.
A bed bug free home is the best option you have. Prevention is an ongoing effort but not as disruptive as an infestation. It’s better to have a clean, uncluttered, and maintained home than not anyway.
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