ed bugs can easily make their way into your home via hitchhiking on your clothing or bags. To prevent infestations be sure to take precautions if you are traveling or when purchasing new clothes as well as follow the tips below.
While professional exterminators are often called to help clear up bed bug infestations, preventing future bed bugs is the key to keeping your exterminator cost down. Below we provide some of the best ways to prevent bringing bed bugs into your home to start with as well as how to be on the look out for the first signs of bed bugs since it is much easier to clear up a small infestation rather than a larger one.
#1 places you can bring bed bugs home from:
- Hotels & motels
- Air B & B rentals
- Clothing stores
- Second hand stores
- Used furniture purchases
- Movie theaters
- Storage units
- Visiting a friends house
How the bed bugs stow-away is different depending on the circumstances. Below are some examples of how bed bugs can find you outside your home and then hitchhike their way to your home without you even knowing it.
When visiting hotels, motels, Air B & B rentals or even visiting your friends or families home, be sure not to put your coat or clothing on the bed. Hang up any items you may not wear indoors. Do not lay them on the couch or any cloth chairs. All of these places are perfect places for beg bugs to find your clothing and attach themselves to it, getting a free ride to their new home, yours. Also, be sure to use the valet provided to you in your hotel or motel, this keeps bed bugs from getting into your suitcase for the journey home. And never use the hotel drawers, they can be full of eggs too tiny for our eyes to see.
When making purchases at the clothing store, many times we try on clothing and leave our clothes on the floor. This is the best way to pick up unwanted guest and it is recommended to always hang your clothing when you are trying on others. You can also shake out or brush down any clothing after changing. New clothing can also contain nearly invisible eggs so it is always a good idea to wash your new clothing as soon as your get it home. And DO NOT lay it out on your bed, that is the how they make their final transfer! Do your best to keep any new clothing in the plastic bags and take them directly to the wash as soon as they are purchased. This is VERY important for second hand clothing. Maybe even best to wash them at a local laundromat rather than at home.
Also, when it comes to washing anything with the intent of killing bed bugs, make sure to use HIGH HEAT for the dryer, this will kill 99% of bed bugs at all stages.
If you cannot wash the item, like with furniture or a mattress, make sure to steam clean it with a steam cleaner that is over 124 degrees.
When it comes to going to the movies or other public places with cloth seating, be sure to give your clothing a good shake and brush down before getting back in your car or entering your home. Since these situations involve 1 hitchhiker it is likely you can brush them off without even knowing they are present.
When it comes to storage units though, that is a different matter. First, if you are going to store clothing or any other cloth product in a public storage unit, make sure it is bagged in plastic. Plastic is the #1 barrier between your clothing and bed bugs. They cannot really chew through plastic or would care to. They go for easy opportunities and so a little prevention can go a long way.
If your clothing or other items are already in storage, when you take them out, wash or steam them all and check for any signs of bed bugs so that you don’t bring them into your home.