Bed bugs are sneaky critters. Not only can they travel on furniture, bedding, and even clothing to a new home, but they can also go months and even as long as a year without feeding. A box of family mementos from your parents’ attic just delivered to your new home may arrive with a couple of extra residents. The most common way bed bugs find their way to your home is after you have shared a common space with others, like a hotel or even using public transport.

Bed bugs can be found anywhere – luxury spaces and clean homes aren’t exempt. They work their way into sofa cushions, dressers, clothing, luggage, and boxes. They only need a temperate environment to flourish, making these spaces the ideal breeding ground.

If you’re wondering how to prevent bed bugs, there are some measures you can implement stop these pests from infesting your home and bed. If it does eventually happen to you and you find them in the narrow crevices of your old dresser, it’s best to call the experts to help you rid your home of these bugs.

Below we’ll look at how to prevent bed bugs in your home and business.

Seal Up Your Home

Sometimes bed bugs come into your home by traveling on other pests or animals, like rodents, birds, or pets. Use a sealant to ensure your home is free from cracks on the outside. Silicone caulk will seal up any gaps around your house or business. Repair any windows and screens, even on openings as narrow as a business card.

Secondhand Finds

Before you bring any secondhand furniture or clothing home, check them for signs of bed bugs. Sometimes you may even find them hiding in electronics.

Moving Mistakes

Don’t use the blankets supplied by a moving company. If these aren’t cleaned regularly, there’s a chance they are infested with bed bugs from another person’s belongings.

Get Rid of Clutter

It’s easy to miss a bed bug infestation if your house is cluttered. Clutter gives them more places to hide and makes it more difficult for you to get rid of them. Not sure how to check for bed bugs within your clutter? Remove everything from against walls, as this is a great hiding place. Donate, recycle, and throw away everything you don’t need. Once you’ve decluttered, plan to be more organized with the items you need to store so clutter doesn’t happen again. Install shelves or buy clear plastic storage bins to stay organized.

Mattress Covers

If you cannot treat or throw away a mattress infested with bed bugs, you can buy unique bed bug encasements for your mattress and box springs. This will make it difficult for the bugs to get to you. Just ensure you buy a good quality one that has been tested for bed bugs and will last a year without ripping. And if you have a brand new, uninfected bed, these professional covers will stop your mattress from getting infected at any stage as these zippered casings enclose your entire mattress and are made from top-quality fabric.

Keep it Clean

If you’re not regularly washing and heat-drying your sheets, blankets, comforters, and clothing, it may important to do so regularly. Add to this list anything that touches the floor and your laundry hampers too. Vacuuming should also be done regularly, as bed bugs can hide in carpets. Consider vacuuming your mattress, too. Since bed bugs are hardy creatures, empty your vacuum bag directly into a sealed trash bag in the outdoor garbage can to prevent them from making their way inside.

Laundromat Safety

If you use shared laundry facilities, it’s important to stay vigilant. Take your clothing to the laundromat in plastic bags. Once your clothes are cleaned and dried, place them directly into the plastic bag and return home to fold them. Luckily, a high-heat dryer will kill bed bugs but don’t risk these pests hopping onto your clean laundry while folding your clothes at the laundromat.

Check your Pets

You probably haven’t considered that your pet’s bedding may be infested with bed bugs. But just like your bed, your pet’s warm bed is perfect for bed bugs to lay eggs and feed. Ensure you check their bed and around the mattress regularly. Remember to wash their bedding on high and heat dry as well.

Kill Them with Heat

It’s not easy to kill bed bugs yourself with high heat. These bugs will die at temperatures of 113 degrees Fahrenheit, so you would need to heat a room or container hotter than this for a sustained period. Turning your thermostat high just won’t cut it. You need special equipment, so a reputable pest control company is your best bet. If you’ve heard that placing your luggage or smaller items in a black plastic bag and leaving it in the sun will work, it might, but it won’t be easy to tell if the contents have reached the correct temperature. You could also use a portable heating chamber to treat particular items, but these units are considered dangerous.

Destroy Any Infested Items

Make sure to destroy any items you throw away that are infested with bed bugs so you don’t find them being sold on to a secondhand store that passes on the bugs to other people. If you live in a multi-family home, isolate your bed bug issue. Some options include adding door sweeps on your doors, sealing cracks on your baseboards, and even on your light sockets.

Identify the Signs

How often do you or your children find bites or a rash on your body, and you’re unsure what has caused it? This is an excellent reason to educate yourself on what a bed bug bite looks like and if there are signs that you have an infestation. The bites tend to be itchy small red marks that you’ll find in a row. One way to identify an infestation is to look for bed bug droppings that look like small dark dots on your floors or fabric. The bugs are not bigger than 1.4 inches in length, have rounder bodies than fleas, and are oval looking with their legs tucked underneath their bodies. They mostly bite the hands, arms, face, and neck, causing itchy bumps that resemble a rash.

Cover All Your Electrical Outlets

Bed bugs will use any exit point if trying to evade extermination, including your power outlets, and they can even travel through walls via electrical outlets. Cover up your power outlets so they don’t find a place to hide and travel throughout your home or business.

How to Prevent Contracting Bed Bugs When Traveling

Traveling is one of the leading causes of contracting bed bugs. Without knowing it, you’re bringing bed bugs home from hotels, the room bedding, or furniture. Here’s how to check for bed bugs and avoid bringing them home:

  1. Before you settle into your room, look for the tiny dark/rust color spots on bed sheets, mattresses, and bed skirtings.
  2. Raise the furniture and look for the bugs in prominent hiding spots. Also, look under the mattress, bed frame, and headboard.
  3. Before leaving, examine your luggage on the luggage rack before heading home. And do the same when you arrive home, storing your luggage away from the bedroom.
  4. When returning home, put all your clothing immediately in the dryer on high heat.
  5. If your hotel room is infested, make sure you move to a room far away because all rooms nearby are also infested.

How We Can Help

If you’re left wondering how to check for bed bugs, it’s best to leave pest control up to the professionals. At Pest Control Unlimited, we apply the latest techniques and solutions to get rid of bed bugs and prevent them from returning. 

By knowing exactly how to prevent bed bugs and eliminate them, we provide custom solutions that fit your budget. Call (888) 649-9919 today or fill out this contact form to get a quote. We’d be happy to assist you in any way that we can.