Bed Bug Infestations:
7 Ways to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation in Home
It seems like only yesterday that our country no longer had to worry about a home bed bug infestation. They were almost a myth, something to tell our children at night in the form of a poem. But now, “don’t let the bed bugs bite” has become synonymous with a real threat.
Bed bug infestations can be devastating to homes, and sometimes to an entire community. Bed bugs seem to spread like the plague. When you discover that you have a bed bug infestation, you need to decide whether you should stay in your home or leave for a while. Let’s take a look at the process involved.
Decide whether or not you have a home bed bug infestation problem
Bed bug infestations do happen, but it’s not like the problem has become an epidemic. At least, not quite yet. Even if you wake up one morning with a series of bed bug bites, this may mean you only have a few.
If you want to test your house yourself, you can use a disposable glove to check for bed bug feces in the folds of your furniture and be on the lookout for bed bugs in your walls, or their skins that are left behind as they pass from one life cycle stage to the next.
If you don’t trust your skills, what you’ll need to do is contact a professional who can evaluate your situation. They will be able to run tests, which may even include a bed bug dog inspection, and inform you of how severe the bed bug problem may be.
Determine whether or not you should leave your home
Bed bug infestations aren’t something you should mess with. Once an evaluation has been completed on your home, the pest control expert will provide you with his recommendations.
They’ll go over all the details, such as where the bed bugs are located in your home and how many there possibly are. He will use the evaluation he conducts to decide whether or not it can be considered an infestation.
From that point, you’ll need to decide whether you should leave your home or if you can stay. Even if you have a mild infestation, there’s a good chance that there will be no reason to leave your home, at least not for an extended amount of time.
The pest control professional may request a fogger or similar pest control device, but the time you would need to leave your home would be minimal.
If the infestation is substantial, however, leaving your home for a while may be wise. This will allow the professionals to do their job as they clear your home of these dangerous parasites.
“If you don’t trust your skills, what you’ll need to do is contact a professional who can evaluate your situation.”
-Rest Easy Pest Control
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Now that winter has subsided, those evil parasites — bed bugs — may very well come out in droves. The insects don’t like the cold, and can often survive up to a year without feeding. Which means that if they’ve been hiding in your walls to stay warm, there’s a good chance that they could find their way to your bed and feast upon your blood.
Protecting yourself and your loved ones is paramount. Let’s discuss a few bed bug prevention tips that can help you either keep them out of your home or deal with them once they’re inside.
1. Wash all your clothes and bedding in hot water
Temperatures above 120 degrees will kill any bed bugs that have made a home in these items.
2. Inspect your beds, furniture, walls, and floors for any holes or cracks, and seal them up
If you believe that your area is prone to the little critters, be sure to perform routine checks of clothing, boxes, furniture or anything else that might hide them when they’re brought into your home.
Bed bugs are notorious for hitching a ride to move from place to the next. Do a thorough inspection of the items above. Check every nook and cranny of each item, because bed bugs are tiny and can easily hide from you.
If you properly seal up an opening in which bed bugs have made a home, you’ll entomb them, thereby preventing a bed bug infestation from spreading elsewhere.
“If you believe that your area is prone to the little critters, be sure to perform routine checks of clothing, boxes, furniture or anything else that might hide them when they’re brought into your home.”
-Rest Easy Pest Control
3. Set up traps while you sleep
Bed bugs are most likely to “attack” at night when you’re asleep. They crawl up the legs of your bed in search of food and revel in the discovery of a nice tasty leg or arm to sink their teeth into. A great prevention technique involves setting up a series of bed bug traps as sentries around your bed.
There are two types of traps, active and nonactive. The active ones include a chemical that lures the bed bugs into the trap and eliminates them.
Inactive traps rely on you placing them beneath the legs of your bed and waiting for the pests to become trapped when they attempt to reach you on the bed. Another fantastic way to stop bed bugs is to use a mattress cover, which will keep them from entering its folds.
4. Clean up any clutter
While bed bugs aren’t due to messiness, clutter can give them more places to hide and breed.
5. Put an Active Guard mattress cover on your mattress
If the bed bugs are already living in the mattress, this product will trap and kill them. It also will kill any bed bugs who are trying to crawl onto the mattress. For humans, however, the cover is comfortable and odorless.
6. Take out any furniture you know is infested with bed bugs
If the weather remains below freezing for one to two weeks, putting the furniture outside (in a dry place, of course) will probably kill the bed bugs. But in most locations, if a piece of furniture is badly infested and is not expensive, the best option is often to discard it.
It’s a good idea to wrap the infested piece in plastic before moving it out of the house, so bed bugs don’t jump ship before you get out the door. Also, if you discard it in a place where someone might pick it up, it’s considerate to put a sign on it warning of bed bugs.
7. Call a pest control company that specializes in bed bugs
All of the above steps can help you in preventing bed bug infestations, but even if you take them all, you still may not have rid your house of all the bed bugs and their eggs—leaving yourself vulnerable to worsening infestation.
The surest way to keep bed bugs from spreading is to report the problem to your landlord if you’re renting or to call a bed bug removal specialist yourself if you’re a homeowner.
Look for signs of a bed bug infestation
All the bed bug prevention tips in the world won’t benefit you if they’re already inside your home and you don’t even realize it. The bed bug traps mentioned above are one way to test your home for bed bugs.
After all, if you catch one, that’s an obvious clue. Another technique is to pay attention to any itching sensations or rashes that develop on your skin. Either can be a telltale sign of bed bug activity. Also be sure to check your furniture by rubbing a latex glove inside the creases. Black spots indicate bed bug feces.
Call an Exterminator
Remember that bed bugs are not a sign of dirtiness and sloppiness, so you shouldn’t be afraid to report the problem if you’re renting, thinking it will reflect badly on you. Likewise, if you’re a homeowner, don’t think there’s any reason to be self-conscious about calling an exterminator.***
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