Preventing Bed Bug Infestation
The time to prevent bed bugs is before you get them. Once they have infested your bedroom and home, it is too late. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is extremely difficult, inconvenient and very costly. Bringing just one bed bug home can lead to exponential numbers in a short time. They are prolific breeders.
There are only two ways bed bugs can get into your home. Someone must bring them there, or they can penetrate common walls, ceilings, and floors in apartment complexes. Bed bugs do not discriminate, they will infest the most exclusive mansions or the worst of slum properties.
They are not enticed by filth and uncleanliness. Their food target is not food scraps. They are only after blood. Yours, your children, infants and your pets. With a little common sense and knowledge of how bed bugs could get into your home, you can help prevent a future invasion by applying protective measures.
Be Careful When Sleeping Away From Home
Unsuspectingly, people take bed bugs home after stays at hotels or an overnight stay at a friend’s home. College kids can transport them home from a dormitory room and teens can pick them up during a sleepover. Anyone that sleeps overnight in your home can introduce bed bugs or bed bug eggs which can be the beginning of an infestation.
BED BUGS HITCH-HIKE IN LUGGAGE
It’s not always easy to look for evidence of bed bugs while spending a night away from home. But, at least give a quick, surface look. It could make the difference. Peel the bed cover back, check the mattress for evidence of bed bug fecal matter and dried blood drops. If you find evidence, advise hotel management and then change hotels. If bed bugs are in one room, they are likely in the rooms as well.
- Insert clothes and other items into separate plastic bags before packing
them in suitcases or carry bags. Clear “ziplock type”bags are best
- Protect luggage with a suitcase encasement.
- Avoid putting suitcases or travel bags on a bed or floor.
- Don’t unpack suitcases at destination. Don’t use hotel drawers.
- Put hanging clothes in garment bags before hanging in hotel closets.
- Keep dirty clothes in separate bags inside the suitcase.
- Keep suitcase zipped shut within its encasement cover.
When returning home. Keep a suitcase inside its encasement until you are ready to do laundry. Be observant for evidence of bed bugs as you unpack. Even if you don’t see them, they could have laid eggs. Heat at 120 degrees F will kill bed bugs. Wash and dry clothes on hot. Always keep suitcases stored in the garage or in storage areas located farthest from bedrooms.
Teach your kids how to prevent bringing bed bugs home. Sleepovers are popular among kids today. It’s a double-edged sword. Your kids and your kids’ friends can bring into your home. College dormitories can be a source. Instruct children on the ways to protect their clothing and bags and how to detect signs that bed bugs may be present. Do not unpack until ready to do the laundry. A little knowledge and some common sense practices could save you a lot of bed bug bites and a bunch of money in the future.
PROTECT YOUR BEDS
If you don’t have bed bugs now, do yourself a huge favor. Wrap your mattresses and box springs in a zipper-locked encasement. That will prohibit future penetration by bed bugs or any other insect including fleas, ticks and mites. Protect-A-Bed makes a “Bed Bug Protection Kit” that includes a mattress and box springs encasement with pillow protectors that creates an non-penetrable barrier. See the “Student Bedding Protection Kit” while you college student is away from home.
- Move your bed at least 3″ from any wall.
- Don’t let bed covers touch the floor.
- Set bed legs into ClimbUp insect interceptors.
- After a trip, never set luggage or soiled clothes on a bed.
OTHER HELPFUL HINTS & TIPS
Don’t bring used mattresses into your home. If you do, inspect them carefully for evidence of bed bugs before bringing it inside. If you decide to use it, cover it with a bed bug protective encasement. Any existing bugs will not escape and new bed bugs won’t be able to penetrate the encasement cover.
Inspect used furniture very carefully. If you buy used clothing or bed covers, put them inside a sealed bag and immediately wash them and dry them on high heat before placing them in drawers or closets.
When checking for bed bugs in hotels, bed and breakfasts, cruise lines, or people’s homes, use a hair dryer. Bed bugs cannot handle heat and and exposure to temperatures above 120 degrees F can kill them. Blow hot hair on the edges of mattresses, box springs, behind head boards. in the seams of couches and other places that would harbor the bugs. You may see them scurry around to avoid the hot air.