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How to Avoid Bed Bugs

January 13, 2016  |  Difficulty: Easy

avoid bed bugs

Traveling and buying used furniture (especially bedroom furniture) remains the leading cause of bringing bed bugs home. It is hard to avoid traveling but buying used items can be eliminated easily.

Inspect

If you travel a lot you may be exposed to bed bugs in hotels. College students can bring them home from dormitories. Inspect the bedroom and always check the bed closely. Bed bugs are likely to reside at the head of the bed, so the space behind the headboard should not be missed during your inspection. Finding a shed skin and eggs is a good sign. Also look for bed bugs fecal spots, which are basically digested blood, so most are dark in color.

Be Cautious

Ever wondered what the hotel luggage stand is for? Well, place you luggage on it, instead of placing it on the floor, or use a plastic seal to prevent possible hitchhiking bugs. And think twice before bringing home any used furniture, but in case it is necessary, then treat it with hot steam first.

Treat Preventively

Unpack directly into the washing machine or dryer once you return home from a trip or college dormitory. Wash clothes in hot water for 30 minutes, or tumble dry for 30 minutes on high. About 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill all life stages of bed bugs.  The entire piece of luggage should be vacuumed and possibly exposed to heat (direct sun) or freezing temperatures for at least 30 minutes.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Vacuum thoroughly and make sure to dispose the dirt cautiously to prevent a further spread of bugs. It may be essential to dispose of the vacuum bag contents in hot water or fire. You can use ice sprays to freeze the bugs. These are good because they don’t leave any residue but, on the other hand, they don’t reach hidden bugs. Steam is a better weapon, but it leaves moisture behind. As mentioned above, heat can kill them; so if possible, place the mattresses, furniture, and clothes outside in the burning sun. Insecticides are also in the game; however, bed bug resistance makes this choice of tactics more difficult.

The most effective way to get rid of these parasites is to put your trust in professionals.

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