Bed bugs are everywhere, and there’s a good chance you’ll come in contact with them at some point in your life, no matter how clean you are. Bed bugs are notoriously resilient, and it can be difficult to eliminate them without professional help. However, there are things you can do to prevent their spread, especially if you think you’ve been in an infested area. Here are five top bed bug prevention techniques:
- Carefully inspect any used item of furniture, bedding, or clothing that comes into your house. Secondhand furniture is one of the most common ways people are exposed to bed bugs. Bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye, so it isn’t very hard to tell if they have been or are currently in the area.
- Vacuum your home weekly. Bed bug infestations can be nipped in the bud with simple vacuuming. Carefully vacuum around your bed, including the mattress, bedding, and bed frame. Vacuuming once a week helps to catch problems before they spread.
- Eliminate potential places for bed bugs to enter your home or hide by caulking holes in your floors and walls. Although this doesn’t completely keep bed bugs away, it makes it much harder for them to get inside. Bed bugs also love hiding places, so reducing the amount of clutter around your bed area can give them fewer hiding options.
- If you think you’ve been exposed to bed bugs, either at a hotel or somewhere else, immediately wash your clothes and any exposed bedding. To kill the bugs and their eggs, wash everything in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
- Avoid the carpet. When unpacking your clothes, put them directly in the washing machine or into plastic bags. Check your suitcase and vacuum it out if you suspect bed bugs made the return trip with you. Other suitcase treatments include getting it professionally laundered or putting it in a freezer for 24 hours.