How to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home
It’s on everyone’s mind these days and with good reason; the population of bed bugs has exploded in recent years. Although they were almost eradicated in the 1950’s, lately we’ve seen an unparallelled resurgence of bed bugs. The reason for this is not quite known, however it’s likely that with the increase in close proximity living and global travel, these industrious bugs have capitalized on their drive to find hosts and propagate their species. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Once you have bedbugs it is difficult to get rid of them; the key is to avoid bringing them into your home. With a lot of diligence and by taking the proper precautions, you can escape the emotional and financial devastation that comes with a bed bug infestation
Know the signs of bed bugs
Bed bugs are brown flat bugs that are about the size and shape of an apple seed. Because they live solely on human blood they leave behind very tiny droppings of dried blood. If you have an infestation, you will most likely see blood spots on the sheets, mattresses and even the walls of the infested area and of course you will be able to see the adult bugs themselves.
Hotels are the number one place that bed bugs will congregate. It doesn’t matter what kind of hotel you are staying in; five star or budget, no hotel is safe from bed bug infestation. Before you enter your room, leave your luggage in the hallway and do an inspection of the room. Pull back the sheets and look at the mattress and box spring along the seams. Pull back the seams and check as bed bugs like to hide in crevasses. Check between the mattress and the headboard and also under drawers of desks, in the seams of chairs or anywhere within 10 and 20 ft. of the bed. When you are satisfied that the room contains no bed bugs, then move your luggage inside. Use the luggage stand for your suitcase and do not put your suitcase or clothing on the bed or floor. Hang your clothes in the closet provided. As an added precaution, use hard plastic luggage rather than fabric luggage.
Bed bugs love to hide in movie theatres where it is dark and there are a lot of stationary people to feed on. You can check your seat for bed bugs before you sit down in the theatre to watch a movie. Get to the show early and bring a small flashlight with you. Pull down the seat and shine your flashlight on it. Check the seams and the sides and back of the seat.
Thrift stores are an excellent place to pick up bed bugs. They can come into your house on not only used furniture but also clothing and other household items. Inspect all upholstered furniture, removing seat cushions and turning the item over to check the back and underneath for signs of bedbugs. On clothing check under collars and sleeves as well as inside and outside the clothing and under the arm pits. If buying a piece of furniture such as a desk or bookcase, remove drawers and check underneath and basically anywhere there are cracks and crevasses.
Just because a clothing item comes directly from a clothing store doesn’t necessarily mean it is free of bed bugs. People buy an article of clothing and then bring it home and put it in their closet or on the bed and then later decide they don’t like the item and bring it back to the store to return it. In that time a bed bug could have crawled onto the clothing and is now being transferred back to the store where it can lay eggs and breed in other clothing. Check everything you bring home. Check shirts and pants, dresses, and even shoes.
Purses and Backpacks
Woman’s purses and backpacks make excellent taxicabs for transporting bed bugs. If you’ve been to a movie theatre, a library or concert or any other public place where people sit for long periods of time, chances are you could have a hitchhiker or two, especially if your purse or pack is left open or has anything but a zipper to fasten it. Check your purse for bedbugs before entering your house.
Its a good idea if you have been on vacation or out and about to vacuum out your suitcase or purse/knapsack before you enter the house. Also take your clothes right to the laundry room and wash them immediately upon returning from a trip to a hotel. Keeping on top of things will help you avoid a bed bug infestation.