The best way to control bed bugs is to ensure you don’t get them. Proactive prevention strategies are a must, particularly for travelers or those who have frequent visitors and overnight guests to their homes.
Top-line recommendations to prevent bed bug infestations include:
- Be aware of your surroundings and investigate the area if you plan on lying down, sitting or standing still for any extended period of time. Bed Bugs are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide and are encouraged to go to areas where theses aspects are being detected.
- If you find bugs but are unsure that your findings are, indeed, bed bugs, show the specimens to a trusted pest-control company. Or send your sample to a service such as ID the Bug which provides independent, expert and confidential verification at a cost of $20.00
- Quarantine any personal items (i.e. place into sealed plastic bags or plastic bins) if you believe potential exposure has occurred.
- Remove all shoes and leave them outside or quarantine them in sealed plastic bins/bags or treat them with dry heat over 120 degrees for a minimum of 30 minutes when entering residence.
- Avoid purchasing used furniture of any kind when possible. If used furniture or mattresses are purchased, inspect and have them fumigated with Sulfuryl Fluoride before accepting delivery.
- Use metal bed frames instead of wooden bed frames whenever possible.
- When traveling, inspect the bed and furniture. Any signs of bed bugs should be reported to hotel management. Request a new room and look again for bugs.
- Never put your suitcases on beds or couches in hotels. Luggage should be left as far from bedding as possible, preferably in the bathroom and – initially during inspection – in the bathtub. Open and hang foldable bags in the closet. Do not unpack and store clothes in dressers. Bring heavy black garbage bags and place laundry inside of them. Tie the bags shut each time you use them.
- Upon your return home, do not bring suitcases into your house or apartment. Instead, unpack them outside, transferring unworn clothes to trash bags and bringing them – together with previously filled laundry bags – straight to the dryer. DO NOT WASH travel items until they have been dried at high heat for a minimum of 30 minutes. DO NOT DRY CLEAN as professional cleaners are not equipped to handle bed bug infested items and often spread them among other clients.
- In your own home, seal cracks and crevices with caulk, even if you don’t have bed bugs. This will help prevent bed bugs and other pests from coming in.
- Use dry heat on a regular basis (i.e. clothes dryer, pack-tite, etc)
- Use Climb-up interceptors as early detection monitoring devices.
- Use Mattress Encasements.
- At a minimum, have quarterly K-9 inspections to proactively identify any possible re-infestation. Early detection identification and professional treatment is key.
- Leverage Sulfuryl Fluoride i.e. Vikane fumigation when ever bringing anything into the home that is not wrapped in plastic and guaranteed to be bed bug free.
- Regarding guests, homeowners and renters should assess risk by speaking frankly with anticipated visitors about their previous travels. Hosts should request that no shoes be worn inside the home and that guests who live nearby leave belongings in their car. For out-of-town guests, hosts should use the dryer to treat their travel items and handle suitcases in the same manner outlined above.
- Socialize with your friends colleagues neighbors about bed bugs it is nothing to be ashamed of you have done nothing wrong.
- Contact Bed Bugs and Beyond at 888-410-1333 or www.bedbugsandbeyond.com for professional counseling, education, direction and treatment brokerage.