How To Prevent Bed Bugs From Getting Into Your Home
(or Returning After an Extermination) Download Printable PDF Report
Bed bugs can enter homes by getting into used furniture, luggage and clothing. They also can travel along pipes and electric wiring. Bed Bug infestations are up 50 times (since 2000)* and we’ve been unable to stop the onslaught.
Knowing your enemy is the first line of defense in preventing them from invading your home. Due to the epidemic’s severity, in 2011 Washington started a Commission to thwart the problem that is facing our country. Do not underestimate the chance they will invade your home.
The Social Stigma of Having Bad Bugs- by NBC
The Enemy’s Tactics
The infestation begins when bedbugs find their way into your clothing or your personal things like bags. While hotels are a major bug source, these parasites can come from many other places like homes, malls, hospitals, buses, offices…you get the idea! Freeloading bedbugs breed rapidly, making them a force to be reckoned with.
Bed bugs are masters of hiding and can be tough to find even for seasoned professionals. They can be in picture frames, wallboard, floors, closets, kitchen, furniture… almost anywhere. Unfortunately, bedbug bites are usually the first signs of infestation.
Knowing the Enemy
Bed Bugs are vampire-like parasites that feed on human blood. They are about a 1/4 inch long as adults and deep brown. After sucking your blood they turn reddish/black They feed mostly at night. The bites are multiple red dots (like mosquito bites) clustered in one area, like a leg, arm or back.
The bites will itch so avoid scratching and see a dermatologist for treatment. Scratching will case the bite cluster area to become infected, which you want to avoid.
One single bug can start your home’s infestation and can live up to one year without food. They feed on human blood about once every three days using their skin-piercing mouth parts. After feeding they process the blood and defecate it. This will show as small brown spots on the bed or other surface.
Defend Yourself and Home~ How to avoid bed bugs when traveling!
- Hang clothing far away from the bed
- Open luggage away from the bed, not on the bed or floor using the supplied rack if available.
- Remove the bedding and examine the mattress. Small black stains are probably bed bug fetal matter. If you suspect bedbugs then leave the hotel or transfer to another room.
- Before traveling check the Bed Bug Registry: to see reports on your hotel. They cover thousands of locations in the USA and Canada.
- Upon return, inspect your clothing on a table (not a bed or sofa). If you find bedbugs, put all your clothing into a plastic bag and tape it closed until clothing can be washed in hot water.
How to prevent bed bugs At Home:
- Clean your home regularly and look for the bugs.
- Vacuum your curtains, furniture, carpets, and mattresses. Avoid buying secondhand furniture all together.
- Seal cracks and crevices with caulk, even if you don’t have bed bugs. This will help prevent bed bugs and other pests from coming in.
- Never bring bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street into your home.
- Get bedbug protective mattress and box spring covers if you suspect or see them. This will prevent bedbugs from getting out and biting you.
- Wash clothes in hot water and dry on high heat, especially after returning from a trip.
*Note: A survey of pest managers by the University of Sydney Department of Medical Entomology found that infestations have increased 50 times since 2000!
How To Prevent A Bed Bugs Infestation – How To Check For Bed Bugs: Video
Bedbugs are the last thing anybody wants to bring home from a trip, but it happens more than we know. So how can you protect yourself from a bed bugs infestation? Howdini’s Kimberly Austin asks Entomologist Lou Sorkin and two pest control experts for practical advice on how to protect against bedbugs when traveling and how to help prevent a bed bug infestation.