Bed bug infestations are costly and very difficult to get rid of. These invasive insects are incredibly good at hiding and surprisingly resilient. This means that once they’re given the opportunity to set up camp, consumers are forced to invest lots of time and energy into eliminating them. If you want to learn how to prevent bed bugs, you’re definitely not alone. A recent population explosion has made these pests an increasingly common problem.
Bed Bugs And Home Visitors
Bed bugs do not simply find their way into your home. Instead, these bugs are often brought in instead. They might hitch a ride in your luggage over the course of a long trip or they may be hiding in the folds and crevices of used furnishing. In many instances, however, bed bugs are found directly in the clothing of house guests who have troubling infestations of their own. This makes it important to be discerning of who you invite into your abode. While it might feel uncomfortable to forbade people to visit, you always have the option of taking a few preventative measures after these visits instead. For instance, you can:
- Use a portable steamer to treat any suspicious surfaces.
- Thoroughly vacuum your unit after your guests have left while being careful to dispose of the vacuum bag or the canister contents outside of the home.
- Vacuum any furnishings in the affected area using the hose attachment.
- Remain vigilant for signs of bed bugs and bed bug bites.
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How To Prevent Bed Bugs After Traveling
Hotels, motels, hostels, trains and airplanes are all places in which bed bugs can be picked up. It only takes one healthy female to deliver enough eggs to start an entire population and thus, even a single stow-away can wreak havoc on your life. This makes it important to be discerning of where you choose to stay and how you choose to travel when taking a vacation.
Check out reviews of different hotels and resorts before making your reservations. Consumers who have come in contact with bed bugs at these establishments often leave candid reviews of their experiences in order to give other people fair warning. This feedback can help you avoid places that are known for having unchecked infestations.
Taking the time to read up on the companies that are part of your travel plan is the first step in bed bug prevention, but you also have to take other measures in order to limit the likelihood of this problem. For instance, check your luggage when you get home for signs of bed bug feces or living bed bugs. Check out bed bug pictures online in order to get a better idea of what you’re looking for. You can also:
- Use the vacuum cleaner attachment and a stiff brush to clear out your suitcases.
- Put any clothing that you’ve brought with you in the clothes dryer and dry these garment for up to 20 minutes at the highest temperature setting.
- Leave your suitcases and your clothing in the car for several hours to let the greenhouse effect kill any live bed bugs off.
High heat is one of the most effective bed bug killers available. It is also one of the cheapest. If you have any travel items that are suspected of carrying live bed bugs or their eggs, put these things in the dryer or keep them stored in your car. When using the greenhouse effect to kill bed bugs, roll up all the windows and make sure that the vehicle is parked directly in the sun. Temperatures of 110 degrees or higher are generally sufficient for eliminating these insects and their eggs. Although you might be jet-lagged and drained upon your arrival, taking these steps is a quick and easy way to prevent a full-blown infestation.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs When Purchasing New Furniture
Thrift store furnishings can seem like a great deal, but this is only true if these items are entirely pest-free. Some people make the mistake of donating furnishings from homes that are filled with bed bugs. Bed bugs are also known to populate the secondhand stores that sell these items. The money that you save on used furnishings may well be spent on an endless stream of bed bug treatments if you aren’t discerning of who you buy from and what you buy.
The best secondhand shops are more than aware of the major, bed bug epidemic that is currently sweeping across North America. These entities implement regular preventative measures of their own and work with licensed, pest control companies on a routine basis. Moreover, they are extremely forthright and transparent when it comes to these activities and go out of their way to ensure their customers concerning the safety of their products. If these are not assurances that a seller is willing and able to provide, it is better to leave used products right where they are.
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Bed Bugs And Your Pets
Bed bugs feed on both human and animal hosts. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, taking fast action is one of the surest ways to keep this issue from spiraling out of control. Most people regularly check their mattresses and bedding for signs of bed bugs and their feces. It is also vital, however, to check the bedding of any cats or dogs that you have in the home. These insects are just as happy to set up camp here as they are in any other area of the property.
Baseboards And Cracks In Building Materials
Preventative strategies should also address any building materials that can provide suitable hiding places for bed bugs. Some infestations are especially challenging given that the bugs have taken up residence under or behind the baseboards. You can use a hand-held steamer to kill live insects and their eggs in these areas. You should also apply caulking once the treated areas have dried in order to seal up cracks and close off prospective hiding places.
Thanks for the advice about how you should take fast action and make sure to also check your pet’s bedding. Another thing to consider is to get help in dealing with your bed bug from licensed professionals.
Sarah, I agree with you on seeking the help of a licensed professional. Bug problems, especially bed bugs and cockroaches, can really get out of control fast.
That being said, if people take the time to really understand the pest they are dealing with and learn how to control them, there are quite a few types of insects that can be controlled with DIY methods. However, you really need to know what you are doing which many people do not have to the time to learn and therefore leave their insect problems to professional help to solve.
My house was recently infested with bed bugs and my family and I are trying to find an exterminator. Thanks for the tips on how to prevent things like this in the future. I had no idea that bed bugs could travel home from the airport or trains. I’ll have to make sure that we are careful so that we are careful so that we don’t get bed bugs again.
Glad the bed bug tips helped you out, Sarah. Bed bugs are notorious for “hitching a ride” on unsuspecting travelers. It definitely helps to know what to look out for in hotels, airports, trains, and even taxis.