Erin Doman on May 12, 2016 0 Comments As with any issue, it is always best to prevent a problem from occurring as soon as possible than have to address it after the damage is already done. Nowhere is this truer than with bed bug infestations. Bed bugs can cause health issues for you and your family that can be serious if not taken care of early on. If and when bed bugs take residence in your house, it can unfortunately be rather costly to get rid of them. Simple pesticides that are available at the store are generally not powerful enough to address the issue completely, so you’re basically damaging your air quality with these sprays instead of removing the threat of bed bugs. Therefore, you will most likely need to hire an exterminator to address the problem if you want it done right the first time. In order to prevent the need for an exterminator or dangerous chemical sprays, it is better to take certain actions to prevent bed bugs from getting into your home in the first place. In this article, we address the four main ways bed bugs find their way into our residences and how to stop this from happening. Here are some tips on preventing bed bugs from taking over your home. The Best Mattress Covers for Bed Bugs 1. Bed Bugs While Traveling One of the most common reasons why people get bed bugs is that they spend a night or two at a place that has bed bugs and then track them back home. The pests get into the person’s luggage, and then he or she takes them home where they have the opportunity to multiply and infest. When you stay anywhere, whether it is a hotel or friend’s place, make sure you inspect the area thoroughly. Check every area of the mattress you will be sleeping on. Be sure to check: Mattress seams Mattress tags Bed frame and headboard Pillow covers and seams Nearby walls Nearby electrical sockets Rugs and carpets Bed bugs are small, but they are by no means impossible to see with the naked eye. If you find even one of them, then find somewhere else to stay. It is simply not worth the risk. Any hotel will be more than likely to give you a different room, and you need to make sure that the room is not adjacent to or even near the room you had. Infestations spread quickly, so get a room that is somewhat far away. If you are worried about the entire hotel having a problem, then it may be for the best to find a different hotel entirely. Even if you perform a comprehensive inspection and cannot find anything, it never hurts to err on the side of caution when you return home. When you stay at a hotel, make sure you have a plastic bag with you that contains all your worn clothing. This will prevent any pests from escaping. Make sure you wash and dry all your clothes before putting them back in the closet. You should also clean your suitcase. Vacuum the inside and wash it with hot water. As a preventative measure, store your suitcase away from your bedroom, preferably in the garage. 2. Bed Bugs in Used Clothes and Furniture Purchasing used clothing and furniture is a great way to save some money. However, one problem you need to be mindful of is the presence of bed bugs on these used items. Many people assume that the pests can only be found on mattresses, so they only take the time to inspect a used mattress. Some people avoid buying used mattresses entirely out of fear that some pests are lurking in the crevices. However, you need to be just as cautious if you are buying a used couch or some old clothes. Used Furniture Before taking a couch or chair home with you, a thorough inspection needs to take place. Look at every nook and cranny carefully in order to see if any bugs are crawling around. Even if the house you are buying it from looks perfectly nice, you should still inspect it. Bed bugs are just as likely to pop up in clean homes as they are in dirty homes, so never take the risk. Used Clothing Buying used clothes is an excellent way to get the latest fashions at reduced prices. However, you should keep bed bugs in the back of your mind any time you go thrifting. Watch out for any stains, even small ones, on clothing. This could be an indication of blood spots that are often left behind by bed bugs. Even if everything looks okay, you should still wash your new clothing as soon as you get home. Use hot water to wash clothes you have just bought. For delicate items, you should steam or dry clean them. 3. Bed Bugs in the Office Most people tend to view bed bugs as household pests because they are associated with mattresses. However, it is possible to take the bugs with you anywhere–even to your office. Bed bugs may grab onto your clothes, go to your office and wreak havoc there as well. The office itself may develop an infestation, or other employees can get the bugs and bring them into their own homes. Before you know it, everyone has them and no one can sleep well. If you are an employer, the best prevention policy is being open about this issue. You want to make any employees comfortable with going to you in the event that they have bed bugs in their home. You can work with this person, in private if they desire, to address the issue so that other people do not get the pests. You should also be open if any employees come to you saying that they notice bugs crawling around. Inspect any reports seriously and immediately. It could save you a lot of hassle in the long run. 4. Bed Bugs at School Schools are another common place for bed bugs to spread. If you have children, then there are certain steps you and they can take to ensure they do not bring any unwanted pests home with them. You may hear about other children’s families having bed bugs, and once you hear that, you should inspect your kid’s clothes and backpacks immediately to make sure there are no pests hitching a ride. Another common way for bed bugs to end up in your home is from your child having a sleepover. Having a sleepover at your house means that other kids could bring the pests along with them. Likewise, your child could go to a sleepover at someone else’s house and bring bed bugs back to your home the next day. Consider talking to other parents about whether they currently have bed bugs or if they had them in the past, and do not allow your child to have friends over if you know that you have a bed bug problem in order to prevent the bugs from making their ways to more homes. Prevention of Bed Bugs These tips do not take a whole lot of effort, and they can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Worrying about bed bugs is not something to stress over, and there are plenty of avenues to take if you do get them. Prevention is important, so keep these tips in mind the next time you put yourself at risk for getting bed bugs.