There is no 100% effective way of preventing bed bugs from finding their way into your home. There are many ways bed bugs can be introduced into to any building. They can hitchhike with occasional guests or frequent visitors – such as a babysitter, cleaning person, home healthcare provider etc. They can be picked up in public places like your doctor’s office, public transportation, movie theater, at a hotel or even your gym, and make their way home in your personal items, luggage, etc. Your child can bring a bed bug infestation home from camp or school. If you live in a multi unit dwelling, they can crawl into your apartment from an infested adjacent unit – not just through the wall voids or electrical conduit as frequently discussed, but right under the front door!
Rather than worrying about the possibility of bed bugs entering your domain, spend your efforts making a plan of what you will do should you discover them. Is a full-scale bed bug inspection in order? You may need to budget for bed bug control, should you find yourself needing to treat an issue.
Early detection is the key to swift bed bug elimination:
- Educate yourself on how to identify bed bugs and where to look for them.
- Perform a routine bed bug inspection of your bed and sofa area when changing your sheets and cleaning your home.
- Install bed bug proof mattress/box spring encasements (available at http://www.bellenvironmentalstore.com/ ) to help protect your mattress and box spring, as well to as facilitate early detection.
- Climb Up Interceptors (available at http://www.bellenvironmentalstore.com/ ) are effective bed bug detection products which can be installed under the legs of furnishings, and are very effective at revealing a low level bed bug infestation.
- Be a smart traveler. Inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bug activity before settling in. Be sure to immediately launder clothing after traveling, washing on the hot cycle and/or dry items on high heat for 15-20 minutes or medium/low heat for entire cycle. (It is not necessary to wash clothes to ensure they are bed bug free; the heat of the dryer is often more effective than washing.) Inspect all luggage for bed bugs upon returning. Any soft, pliable luggage can be placed in the dryer.
- Be a smart consumer. Launder/dry any second-hand clothing before bringing into your home. Second hand furniture must also be thoroughly inspected for signs of bed bugs.
- If you live in a rental or coop building, contact management, even prior to an issue to see that a proper bed bug control protocol is in place for your building.
- If you suspect a bed bug infestation act swiftly, contacting a professional bed bug control company for a human or canine bed bug inspection if necessary. Do not dispose of or move any items suspected to contain bed bugs, unless they are sealed in plastic or determined to be bed bug free— either through thorough inspection, laundering or bed bug elimination measures.
Posted in: Bed Bug Home and Office