Keeping a clean home environment is a great place to start with prevention. Knowing what’s in between couch cushions and mattresses will help you identify a problem immediately if one should surface. Not cleaning regularly will allow pests like bed bugs to fester and reproduce into a much bigger problem. It’s so much easier to control and exterminate them if they are discovered early and treated, it is best to catch the problem when there are only a few bed bugs, rather than when they grow to numbers that can reach the hundreds.
Check and clean the furniture in your home weekly. I assume most people already do that, but if you don’t I would suggest that you start. Bed bugs like to hide in cracks and crevices like mattresses, couch cushions, baseboards, drawers, shoe boxes, and closet spaces filled with clothes and other items to nest in. They can be found in these areas, but they must surface to feed. Bed bugs typically feed on humans while they sleep, this is why they’re most commonly found in beds, and are called bed bugs. If you think you might have bed bugs in your home, or if you live in an apartment complex with a bed bug infestation, you gotta stay on top of cleaning your sheets, mattress, and box-spring. Bed bugs will nest and burrow in the cracks of the mattress and box-spring. If you are not sure what they look like, they’re flat, oval-shaped, have red or brown bodies, and about the size of a sunflower seed (the edible portion). Finding and identifying these bugs before they reproduce is a very important part of preventative maintenance.
Seal your mattress in a plastic bag to prevent them from entering. This is recommended if you will be leaving for vacation for a long duration of time. Finding ways to enclose your mattress, pillow, and box spring with a protective cover can prevent them from infesting your belongings while you are there. It can be an inconvenience to remove and recover every time you got to bed, but if there is an existing problem these are measures that can be taken to prevent the infestation from getting worse.
When traveling, pay attention to the rooms you stay in. Hotels and motels are notorious nesting grounds for bed bugs. When you check into your room, keep your luggage off the bed and floor, then inspect the sheets, pillows, and mattresses before laying down to rest. Once the area has been cleared you can also find a more permanent home for your luggage other than the bathroom. If there is a luggage rack or some other hard surface that isn’t a nesting option for bed bugs then set up there.
When you return from your vacation, if possible, you can quarantine your luggage. If you have a large ice chest, you can place the luggage and clothing in it for up to four days to kill off any bed bugs. This is a little extreme and probably only something that should be done if you have identified that the place you had been staying at was infested with bedbugs. Understand that extreme temperatures (hot/cold) can kill bed bugs. Using your dryer on a very hot setting is also a way to kill of any bed bugs that might be nesting in your clothes.
If you come across a problem in your own home and want to solve the problem yourself there are things you can do to get rid of bed bugs. You must start though by minimizing the spread of the infestation. If you rent the home or apartment where you have identified the issue, you should start by contacting the landlord and having them send someone out to exterminate. If you own the home or don’t have the patience to wait on someone else you can start by thoroughly vacuuming any infested areas in the home like carpets, mattresses, and furniture. After you have vacuumed thoroughly you should take the vacuum bag and throw it in a plastic trash bag then remove it from the home. If vacuuming doesn’t remove them from the furniture then you should consider getting rid of the furniture or calling in a professional pest control company. Other efforts for removal may include high-temperature steam cleaning, you can use the furniture wand to push heated steam into all crevices. This helps kill off the hidden bugs. You can also find insecticides at your local home and garden shop. There may be natural alternatives, so research the solution that may be best for you.
If all else fails, call a professional bed bug removal expert! Bed bugs react differently to chemicals and may not completely die off from your store-bought solution, so having a professional there who has experience killing them professionally will help if that’s the case., so if you have an infestation that is out of control and you are in need of a professional, call your local bed bug exterminator and end your problem once and for all. You can also learn more about bed bug removal here.