Preventing Bed Bugs
An Ounce of Prevention: Bed Bug Edition
If you think you may have bedbugs, the first step is to make sure that they are bedbugs. You may see a flea or a tick and misidentify it as a bedbug. Bedbugs are small brown insects that have a segmented abdomen, similar to a cockroach.
They live on human and animal blood and you may notice small pinprick bites on your skin from where they were feeding. They usually eat once per week or so, but they have been known to survive many months without feeding. It’s important to eliminate these pests as soon as you find them, or better yet, prevent them from getting into your home in the first place.
Wash Your Sheets Often, In Hot Water
Bed Bugs can’t survive above 120oF and most dryers today run between 125-135oF. That means that drying your sheets on high heat should kill any Bed Bugs that may be there. While the washing machine doesn’t get quite high enough, the dryer does. Washing your sheets regularly is not only good for keeping Bed Bugs away, but it’s good hygiene practice and can prevent other pests from moving is as well.
Check Furniture Before Bringing it Inside
If you buy second hand furniture or clothing, be sure to check for signs of Bed Bugs prior to bringing it into your home. Young Bed Bugs shed their skins several times and will leave them lying about. If you see small flecks that look like brown pepper on new furniture or clothes, it could be a sign of Bed Bugs in your new acquisition. It is always a good idea to wash clothes when you bring them home anyway. Bed Bugs are just another reason to do so.
Think you might have a pest problem? You should check out our other blog post about when to call a bug man.Signs You Need to Call a Bug Man
Bed Bugs move quite quickly over hard floors and sometimes they will travel between pieces of furniture or piles of clothes. Vacuuming often keeps dust, lint, and stray fabric off of the floor that might hide a Bed Bug’s dash from one place to another. Keeping tidy, in general, is a great way to keep pests out of your home.
Encase Your Mattress
A great way to keep Bed Bugs out of your mattress is to encase your mattress. It’s a simple solution where you wrap your mattress up in a bag that keeps bugs out. Some models don’t actually keep the bugs out, so make sure you do your research. Bed Bugs can also still live in your linens, so be sure to wash your bedclothes regularly and dry on high heat.
Preventing Bed Bugs is especially important when you have small children that attend daycares, schools, and playgrounds. Bed Bugs will cling to soft surfaces and transfer from one person’s clothes to another fairly easily. If you think you might have Bed Bugs already, call a professional to handle that situation for you properly. The last thing you want to do is think that you handled your problem only to have it come right back.