We often talk about what to do when you find yourself facing a bed bug infestation. Knowing how to battle a full scale invasion of these blood-sucking pests is no small matter, and we try to provide information that is helpful and straightforward.
But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Learning how to prevent an infestation before it occurs is your best defense when dealing with these unwelcome pests. We’ve put together a short list of tips to help you prevent bed bugs from taking over your home. These simple tricks can help you avoid a major pest control headache.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
A big part of bed bug prevention is knowing how to identify the pests when you encounter them. So a brief overview of what these creatures look like is in order.
Bed bugs are small, oval shaped insects. The range from 1mm to 7mm in size and are reddish-brown in color. They can be flat or plump depending on if they’re recently fed. Once you know what to look for they are easy to spot and easy to tell apart from other common household pests.
4 Habits to Help you Avoid Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are hitchhikers by nature. They get into homes and office buildings by riding on luggage, furnishings, and clothing. Once in a building it is not uncommon for bed bugs to migrate between rooms, spreading and reproducing as they feed on their human hosts.
These pests are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they’ve invaded a space. That’s why preventing infestations is so important.
1 – Avoid Dumping Things on Your Bed
It’s a bad habit that we all share. When you bring in the laundry or come home from work or school you dump your coat, clothes and bags onto your bed. But bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers and one of the most common ways they get into your home is by clinging to your belongings.
When you toss your coat or dirty clothes on your bed you’re giving any stray bed bugs the chance they’ve been waiting for. They can easily hop from your stuff onto your bed, working their way into the bed clothes and taking up residence.
To help prevent bed bugs infesting your home be careful what you put on your bed. This is especially true for anything you bring in from outside – including bags, suitcases purses and backpacks. One more tip – at the end of the day when you take off your clothes put them straight into the laundry basket (preferably in a closet or bathroom).
2 – Always Check Your Bags
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Bed bugs are champion hitchhikers. One of the main ways they get into your home is by clinging to backpacks, luggage, and laundry. Once on or inside your bags they will wait patiently until you get home. Then, they’ll begin to explore. This is how infestations start.
Whenever you bring bags or luggage into your home examine them carefully. Check inside and outside for signs of bed bugs. Also check the contents before putting anything away. If possible wash and dry the contents and the bags before putting everything back in storage.
3 – Wash Your Bed Linen Regularly
Now, this has nothing to do with cleanliness. Bed bugs turn up in five star resorts as often as they do in dilapidated old apartment buildings. They simply don’t care how clean the environment is as long as there are human hosts around.
But regularly washing your bed linen gives you a chance to inspect your mattress, sheets, and bed frame for any signs of bed bugs activity. It’s important to examine everything closely. That includes the frame, headboard and bedskirt as well as the mattress and box spring. Check the nooks and crannies closely.
4 – Keep Clothing Off the Ground
Clothing is one of the primary ways bed bugs travel from place to place. They cling onto clothes and wait for a chance to drop off and hide in a fresh environment. Keeping clothing off the floor helps to prevent bed bugs from crawling onto them. Or, for that matter, off of them.
Clean clothes should be hung up promptly after washing. Dirty clothes should be put in a hamper or laundry basket, preferably somewhere other than your bedroom. Limiting the a bed bug’s traveling options is key to preventing and controlling infestations.
Call for Professional Help
Finally, if you do start seeing signs of bed bug activity don’t hesitate to call in a professional inspection and removal service. The sooner you act the better. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and the longer an infestation goes unchecked the more difficult it will become to eliminate. Don’t delay taking action.
Published by Scott Palatnik
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Published by Scott Palatnik