Bed bugs can be a major issue for households and businesses across the country.
They require a safe environment with the right conditions in order to survive and thrive, and will find many places inside a room that provide the safe place they can live and breed in.
There are many measures that can be taken in order to prevent bed bugs from getting in to your home, but even if you follow these measures they can sometimes find their way into your property.
They know how to keep themselves well hidden, keeping to narrows crevices where they can’t be seen. They can be found not only in and around beds, but in any other place in the room that provides enough shelter and the right temperature.
Knowing how to prevent them from finding their way into your home, and what to do if you discover them, is crucial to avoid expensive pest control treatments.
Here are 10 useful bed bug prevention tips worth knowing.
1. Learn how to identify them
Bed bugs grow to approx a quarter of an inch long, and can be found in warm, hidden locations.
Bed bug bites are usually small red marks on your skin, sometimes in rows, that can be itchy. Bites are a clear indicator that bed bugs are present, providing you know how to recognise them.
2. Always Check Second-Hand Items
If you are bringing second-hand clothing, books, or even electronic equipment into your home, your should always inspect them thoroughly. Even items that look clean could be the perfect hiding spaces for bed bugs. The vents of electronic items provide an entry for bed bugs to get inside.
3. Check Your Pets for Bed Bugs
If you have bedding laid down for your pet, don’t forget that bed bugs are just as likely to make that their home as your own bed. As well as checking your pet’s bed and area around it, make you wash it regularly on the highest heat setting.
4. Use Bed Bug Monitors
You can purchase these small monitors which get placed under each of the the feet of your bed frame. These can prevent the bed bugs from reaching the bed, and are also a monitoring tool as any bed bugs that crawl into them will become stuck.
5. Cut Back On Clutter
If you have hoarded a lot of clutter, this makes it a lot harder to get rid of a bed bug infestation. Cluuter around walls in especially problematic as it provides a lot of ideal hiding spaces for bed bugs.
6. Cover Your Mattress
As a preventative measure, you should cover all mattresses using zippered casings that cover the whole mattress. These should be made of good quality fabric so that they are durable and resistant to tears. They should also have no folds around the zipper that could provide shelter to bed bugs.
7. Inspect Your Furniture Regularly
Get into the habit of checking your furniture from time to time, looking for signs of bed bugs. Any antique/vintage furniture should be checked first, a long with any furniture that has cracks.
If you are buying used furniture then make sure your perform a check before purchasing.
8. Seal Your Home From Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can find their way onto your home in many ways. One way of preventing them from getting in is to apply silicone caulk to any cracks on the outside of your home. As a rule of thumb, any crack that you can fit a business card into is big enough for bed bugs to get into.
9. Prevent Bed Bugs When Traveling
One of the main ways that bed bugs get from place to place is via the clothing or luggage or travelers. They may pick them up from one hotel room and transport them to the next.
If you are travelling and want to avoid picking up bed bugs, think DREAM:
Determine if the room your staying in has bed bugs by looking for the signs on an infestation. Look out for tiny rust coloured spots on bed sheets, mattress seams and bed skirts.
Raise furniture and check for bed bugs. Try looking under the mattress, bed frame and headboard. They like to come out to find at night, and during the day they tend to keep hidden in spaces within a 5ft radius of the bed.
Examine your luggage on a rack away from the bed to make sure you are not bringing any int the room, or taking them away with you.
Assess your luggage thoroughly when you return home. Keep it well away from your bed and if possible, store it in any room other than your bedroom.
Move all clothing from your luggage straight into the dryer once you get home and give it a good 15 minute blast at a high setting.
9. Cover Power Outlets
Bed Bugs can avoid being found by hiding in electrical power sockets. They will hide out in there until they feel it is safe to move elsewhere. In some cases they may enter the sockets and travel to other rooms in your house through the walls further spreading the infestation. Prevent this possibility by covering your sockets when not in use.
10. Store Your Clothing in Vacuum-Sealed Bags
If you have seasonal clothing which generally doesn’t get worn for many months of the year, it’s best to store these items in vacuum sealed bags. Sweaters or other items of clothing that make the perfect hideout for bed bugs should be stored away using this method to give bed bugs one less potential place to thrive in.
Hopefully the above tips have been useful and you have learnt a bit more about ways in which bed bug infestations can be prevented.
If you are already dealing with an infestation your may need help to tackle the issue effectively. A professional bed bug treatment will permanently eliminate bed bugs from your home or business premises.
If the bed bug infestation is severe or out of control then don’t hesitate to call in your local pest control experts to effectively deal with the issue and put your mind at ease.