Bed bugs are some of the most unpleasant household pests to deal with, and they are unfortunately very common. A 2011 survey found that one out of five Americans has either experienced a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone else who has experienced bed bugs in their home or at a hotel. Bed bugs are found in all 50 states, so no one is safe from a potential infestation. That said, there are ways to prevent and get rid of bed bugs, including bed bug treatment and control strategies. To prevent these unwanted pests from invading your home, check out our tips for preventing and controlling bed bugs.
Bed Bug Basics
Know what a bed bug looks like so you can spot one.
First, you need to know how to identify a bed bug so you can take the proper steps to eliminate them. Any strategy to get rid of bed bugs won’t be effective if what you are really dealing with is a flea, tick, or some other insect. Check out this EPA website that gives descriptions and photos that will help you identify a bed bug when you see one.
Know how bed bugs enter your home
Bed bugs most commonly enter your home by hitching a ride from another area that has been infected by bed bugs. They can find a way onto your clothing, luggage, and other belongings when you travel, including using public transportation, staying at an infected hotel, or when belongings travel in moving boxes.
Know where they hide in your home.
Bed bugs are named as such because they tend to group in places where people sleep – hotels or even your bedroom at home. They have a flat body so they can hide in cracks in walls or bed frames, and they also like the cushioning and warmth of mattresses. Because they like warmth, they can also hide in or near your portable electronics, like laptops and notebooks.
Bed Bug Prevention
Check your things when you unpack
Avoiding bed bugs is your best prevention strategy. Because they like to hitch a ride on your belongings when you travel, you should immediately check the bed for any signs of bed bugs before you unpack your suitcase on a trip. Pull back the sheets, look along the edges of the box springs and check the headboard. Look for bed bugs themselves as well as tiny blood spots on the mattress.
Handle clothing and luggage when you get home
Even when you take the precautions in the tip above, you should be careful when you come home from a trip. Put your dirty laundry in plastic bags so your clothing can be placed immediately into the washer, then wash and dry on the highest heat settings recommended for that fabric. Vacuum your luggage (paying specific attention to seams and folds) and wipe down everything that is not going in the washer with hot, soapy water.
Be careful with used clothing or furniture
Bed bugs may also travel to your home when you bring in used clothing or furniture. In addition to inspecting these things before they enter your home, clothing should immediately go into a high-temperature washer. Also, it is recommended you never bring used mattresses into your home if at all possible.
Bed Bug Control
Don’t panic when you find bed bugs
Once spotted, many people want to get rid of bed bugs as fast as they can. They begin throwing out mattresses, blankets, and clothes in an attempt to purge the house. Not only is it costly to throw out your things, but bed bug treatment typically requires more than just tossing the old out and getting new. If you don’t properly get rid of bed bugs in the first place, they will simply infest the new things you buy.
Vacuum, wash and declutter
What you can do to help get rid of bed bugs is to declutter your home. Clutter creates more hiding places for bed bugs, which makes bed bug treatment harder to do. Once you’ve cleaned up all the clutter, wash and dry all linens in the highest temperature setting possible, and vacuum the full room, including the mattress and box springs.
Seek professional bed bug treatment options
Professional pest control companies are trained and knowledgeable in the effective removal of bed bugs. There are many ways to get rid of bed bugs: bed bugs will die in freezing temperatures as well as hot temperatures that cause their body to reach 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Pest prevention companies also have treatment solutions that can eliminate bed bugs. By calling a professional, you will get an accurate diagnosis of the problem and an effective solution.
Take steps to prevent further bed bug problems
After you receive bed bug treatment, your pest control team can help you take steps that will prevent further infestations. This may include:
Move your bed away from the wall to make the bed harder to get to.
Fill in cracks in the walls, baseboard and molding with caulk.
Keep the bedroom clutter-free.
Vacuum the bedroom at least weekly.
Put a vinyl cover on the mattress and box spring.
Wash bedding in hot water regularly.
Bed bugs are an unwanted pest that one in five Americans have experienced at one point in their lives. Fortunately, there are bed bug treatment options that can help you get rid of bed bugs and prevent them from returning. Follow these prevention and control tips to keep bed bugs out of your home, and when in doubt, contact a professional pest control company for the bed bug treatment solutions you need.
For professional bed bug treatment, contact Spott Pest Prevention today at (512) 402-7121!