Bed bugs, seems every time you turn on the news these little critters are the focus of one story or another. They have been found in the nicest hotels and office buildings. They have even been found in places like Victoria Secret. In the past, we all felt as long as we didn’t stay at dirty motels, we were safe from bed bugs. Obviously that isn’t true anymore, the only one who can protect you from bed bugs is you. The good news is with a little extra work you can increase your chances dramatically of never having these pests in your home.
As per their name, bed bugs, are found most often in the bedroom, so we need to start there. One of the best things you can do is to get into the habit of vacuuming your mattress and box spring every time you change your bedding. Don’t forget the space between the box spring and bed rail and along the headboard. Speaking of the headboard, make sure to leave space between the wall and your headboard, if it is wood, as bed bugs prefer wood over plastic or metal. You will also need to cover your box spring and mattress with a vinyl zipped cover.
Washing all the bedding weekly is very important. The bedding should be washed in hot water and dried on the highest heat setting, that will not damage it. Also the pillows should be put in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes.
When making your bed it is very important that your bedding does not touch the floor. Bed bugs do not fly so they need a way on to your bed. The easiest way for the bed bug to climb on your bed is by way of your bed’s legs. A product that can help prevent this is called Climbup Interceptor, which is a cup-like device with a talc substance you place under every leg, which captures bed bugs climbing either up or down. Mineral oil can also be placed at each leg for this purpose, but you must remember to empty it often.
Attention to detail is the key to preventing bed bugs, and it doesn’t stop at the bedroom. All carpets, fabric drapes, and upholstered furniture should be vacuumed regularly and the vacuum contents should be disposed of immediately in a sealed plastic bag. Bed bugs can also travel through small holes or cracks in the walls. This is very important if you live in an apartment building. All holes need to be patched including where pipes or wiring come through walls.
A big key to preventing bed bugs is to take the proper precautions if you should ever find yourself in a location where you suspect they may be. Bed bugs travel on clothing not your skin. When you get home undress on a hard surface, not a carpeted one. Shake your clothes, and check the floor for bed bugs, which are usually a reddish brown and up to 1/4 ” in length. If you see any, wash your clothes immediately in hot water and dry on high heat. Also clean them from your floor and immediately dispose of the trash, outside the house. Also check your laptop or netbook if you had it with you, bed bugs like warmth and have been known to travel on these devices.
The steps I have provided may take a little extra time, but I think you will agree, if they prevent you from ever having bed bugs in your home they are worth it.