Bed bugs are one of the hardest pests to effectively treat. Removing them from your home can often take multiple treatments and sometimes involves getting a professional involved, which can run in excess of $1,500.00!
Given all of this, the best way to deal with bed bugs is to use proven bed bug prevention methods to keep them from entering your home in the first place.
Fortunately, there are a number of bed bug prevention products and strategies you can use to minimize your risk of an infestation.
As the spread of bed bugs once again begins to rise in the US, people are becoming more aware and taking extra precautions. In particular, these extra precautions are being taken as people travel and visit other people's homes.
Bed Bug Prevention - Avoid them
I recognize this will seem a little obvious, but frankly avoiding bed bugs is the single most important and effective bed bug prevention strategy. Avoiding bed bugs includes:
- Not staying in hotels, and if you have to thoroughly inspect your room before you do. If you see any, and I mean any signs of bed bugs, request another room or goto another hotel.
- Avoiding going into someone's home that is infested. This is tricky because without doing an inspection, knowing if someone has bed bugs or not is hard. But watch for signs. Pay attention to the carpet, the couch and surrounding areas. Look for signs of bed bug fecal matter.
- Avoiding letting your items touch another person's items. For example, if traveling on public transportation, be careful where you place your bags and do not set them next to someone else's.
- Inspecting yourself and your items for bed bugs when you return home and before venturing too far into your home. This includes your clothing and any items that you carried with you. Purses, back backs, briefcases, etc. We recommend doing the inspection in your laundry room. If you feel you've been to a place that might have bed bugs, strip down, put your clothes in the washer (dry later on high heat), and immediately take a hot shower and use soap liberally.
- Avoid living in large and highly populated metropolitan areas. New York, Boston, Philadelphia, etc are all large cities and top the charts when it comes to having the highest number of bed bug reports. If you can live somewhere else, do so.
Don't get us wrong, we're not saying you need to place yourself in a plastic bubble, just be smart. Educate yourself on bed bugs and watch for signs.
If you see them, leave. If you can't fully avoid bed bugs, keep reading. We'll share some extra steps you can take to minimize your risk of infestation.
Preventing bed bugs at home starts with taking a few extra precautions. The single most important step you can take to preventing an infestation is to purchase and install mattress covers, box spring covers, and pillow covers. If you have an infant, don't forget crib covers too, bed bugs do not discriminate and will attack your children as well.
Bed covers prevent bed bugs from entering your bed, living on your bed, and escaping if they are already in your bed. Using these covers are a much better alternative than using chemicals or pesticides on your mattress or box spring. If bed bugs cannot feed, they will die.
Some additional steps you can take for bed bug prevention include:
- Place Bed Bug Traps under your furniture, and in particular your bed.
- Routinely inspecting your bed, bed linens and surrounding furniture for bed bugs, fecal spots or body husks.
- Use a flashlight to conduct your visual inspection, it will help you see the bed bugs or any signs of them
- Avoid bringing used furniture into your home without thoroughly inspecting it and even sanitizing it
- Remember, that bed bugs are small, especially when they are young and can hide in very small places. Conducting a thorough inspection is critical.
Bed Bug Prevention while Traveling
Bed bugs arrive in your home from another location. Generally a hotel or someone else’s home. As a result, protecting your clothing and luggage from infestation while traveling is very important.
There are a number of travel products available from various online merchants including: bed bug sealed luggage liners, bed bug proof laundry bags, and travel pillow encasements.
Another great product is dissolvable laundry bags designed for front or top load washers. These dissolvable bags allow you to carry your laundry home in a sealed bag and place the clothing immediately into the wash, minimizing exposure of your home to bed bugs.
Additionally, when staying in hotels, perform a thorough inspection of the hotel room, in particular, the mattress, box springs, and headboard. We recommend these inexpensive and highly effective bed bug travel kits.
We also recommend leaving your luggage in the bathroom until you confirm there are NO bed bugs in the hotel room. This will keep bed bugs from getting your luggage while you inspect your room.
If you see bed bugs or signs of bed bugs, leave the room immediately and request another room. If you still find bed bugs, leave the hotel
A little extra precaution when traveling goes a long way towards bed bug prevention. Believe me, the price of these preventative products is far less than the average cost of $1500.00 for removal by a professional.
Here’s a great video that shows you how to perform an inspection for bed bugs on your hotel room. A key tip from professionals: Inspect the headboard first.