Last week we examined the common and not-so-common places that bed bugs can infest. We discussed the higher frequency of bed bugs being found in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. We also looked at other locations that may provide food and shelter such as: buses, taxis, libraries, movie theaters, airplanes, schools, and retail stores. Given this alarming information, what can you do to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride and setting up shop in your home? Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers who can catch a ride right into your home. In order to prevent this, here are a few precautionary steps to take to ensure that this does not happen.
- Launder clothing and baggage immediately after traveling to a hotel. Even the highest quality hotels can harbor these pests.
- When traveling, check your mattress and other furnishings before you sleep the night in the room. Educate yourself about the physical indicators of bed bug infestations. Also keep your clothing and baggage up off the ground and away from furnishings. If you suspect an infestation, contact the management of the establishment and inform them of the problem.
- Keep clutter to a minimum. Bed bugs rely on hiding places, so the less that is cluttering your home, the fewer places they will find safe haven.
- If you enjoy shopping at second hand stores for furnishings, rugs, or clothing, be sure to inspect all items before you bring them into your home. This includes pulling out drawers of dressers and checking the undersides.
- When using shared laundry facilities, be vigilant. This may include transporting items to be washed in plastic bags.
- Cover your mattress in a safe plastic encasement. While this can help prevent an infestation, it will not stop it once the infestation has begun.
- Check all used items that enter your home. This includes old computers, appliances, clothing, and gaming systems where bugs can easily hide.
- If you are moving, do not use the moving blankets that are provided by the company. Either supply your own or require that they be cleaned prior to your move.
- Be wary of public places that could harbor these pests. When changing at a clothing store, keep your clothes off the floor. When using public transportation, check out the seat and surrounding area.
- Seal your home so that bed bugs can not enter or at least travel from room to room.
If you suspect that all of your vigilance has failed and that you do have a bed bug problem, seek professional help to eradicate the problem quickly and discreetly. Call Pest-End Exterminators at 1-800-287-4321, 603-382-9644, or 978-794-4321.