Bed bugs are undoubtedly among the top insect horror homeowners dread. Unfortunately, the cool winter and summer seasons increase the chances of them finding their way into your home. Unlike other types of insects, these invasive and annoying critters don’t easily die or hibernate. They remain active for a long period, especially if they find a nice place to stay.
However, you can protect your home by doing the following;
Know What bed bugs Look Like
Familiarizing yourself with the appearance of bed bugs makes it easy to identify them and prevent a full-blown infestation. Generally, bed bugs are flat, brown, and wingless creatures of about 0.2 inches in length. They like hiding in the mattress, bed frames, box springs, floor cracks, and behind items, such as pictures and clocks.
They occasionally drop the fecal matter, blood spots, and casings. Suspect the presence of bed bugs if you notice brown or dark red smears on your bed sheets, mattress, or pillowcase.
Be Careful When Buying Used Furniture
If you are renovating your home or installing new household equipment on a budget, think twice before buying used furniture, especially mattresses and bed frames, as they harbor these insects and their eggs. Before buying any used furniture, ensure that you inspect them properly for any signs of a bed bug infestation. If you must buy them, treat them with insecticides before taking them home.
Declutter Your Home
Reducing clutter in your home not only makes your life organized but also reduces the chances of being infested by bed bugs. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, cluttered places create a good hiding place for bed bugs, where they can lay eggs. They can especially hide behind cardboard; thus, make sure that you unpack boxes immediately after moving and replace storage cardboard with plastic options.
Vacuum Your Floor Thoroughly
Bed bugs are not only found in bed frames, they can also hide in your carpets and other flooring materials. Therefore, it is important that you thoroughly vacuum the carpets and floor, especially the corner where the wall and floor meet, to ensure that all bed bugs are eliminated. After vacuuming the floors, dispose of the contents of the cleaner in a sealed bag.
Use Bed Bug Monitors
Bed Bug monitors, such as ClimbUp Monitors, are placed on the feet of bed frames, prevent bed bugs from climbing on the bed. These are useful tools that help in monitoring your house, especially the bedroom if you are afraid of bed bugs. However, note that this doesn’t mean they can’t reach you. The monitors will only ease identification and prevents large-scale infestation.
Protect Your Bed
If you have dealt with a bed bug infestation before, you can probably do anything to prevent the resurgence of this nightmare. Purchasing box spring and mattress encasements are an easy way to protect your bed from bug problems. While these encasements won’t stop bed bugs from getting in your house, they make it easier to remove in case of an infestation. In addition, encasements trap and starve hiding bed bugs to death.
Protect Your Suitcase
Bed Bugs love hopping on rides, and they can hitch onto your suitcase during a business trip or vacation. Therefore, wrap your suitcase with a trash bag tightly when traveling or when in a hotel to prevent any infestation during your travels. Also, vacuum your suitcase thoroughly after a vacation to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home.
Seal Your Home from Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can enter your house through several routes. While some travel on coats of pets, birds, and rodents, others can come in through your clothing and luggage. Therefore, seal your home by repairing cracks and any opening that can make good entrance points. Also, inspect your windows and screens to ensure that it doesn’t have damaged or torn areas.
Inspect Your Home Regularly
While this doesn’t have to be a daily or weekly task, inspect your homes routinely and take note of any signs of bed bug presence. Inspect your bed, mattress, floor, carpets, and other upholstery. If you see any sign of bed bugs, for instance, in the bedding, remove them and place them in a washer with high heat and a cycle setting. Also, wash any blankets, rugs, and pillows that may have been exposed.
Inspect New Items
Just like second-hand items, new items are not immune to bed bug infestation. For example, new clothes, furniture, and any other household equipment can harbor bed bugs from shoppers or if they come into contact with other bed bug-infested items when being shipped. That said, check seams of clothing and furniture for dark red or brown spots before using.
Get Professional Treatment
If bed bug infestation has already occurred, don’t take the battle alone. Getting rid of bed bugs is complicated and cannot be solved by home remedies alone. Professional bed bug treatment will effectively remove bed bugs permanently from your home. Bed bug treatment professionals have the necessary training and use the required tools and chemicals during treatment.