How to Prevent Bed Bugs
A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness — you can pick them up in the finest hotels, and they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.
In the House
When at home, follow these handy tips to help keep bed bugs at bay.
- Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
- Wash and dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
- Closely inspect any second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your residence.
- Do not bring discarded furniture into your residence – there’s a reason it was left by, or in, the dumpster.
- Inspect your residence regularly—after a move-in, a trip, when a service worker comes in or guests stay overnight.
When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps to help avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.
- S - Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
- L - Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day they are most likely found within a 1.5 meter radius of the bed.
- E - Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
- E - Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
- P - Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
Notify your local pest management provider immediately, or tell your property manager if you are renting so they can begin to create a customized treatment for your bed bugs. Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation.