Bed bug anxiety grips you if you suspect that you’ve been to a place with bed bug infestation.
Hotels, motels, and even friends’ homes can have bed bugs. These pests are experts at hitching a ride on your luggage and may find their way to your home.
You worry that you brought bed bugs home and wonder what you can do to prevent bed bugs.
This guide will lay down the steps for you to follow. You’ll find your way out of the impending bed bug problem staring at you.
Let’s dive in.
Do A Home-Wide Bed Bug Inspection
Inspecting your home and bed is the first step to ensure whether you have bed bugs or not.
Begin your search with your bed. Look for signs of bed bugs such as adult bed bugs and bed bug fecal spots in the following areas –
- Bed mattress
- Mattress seams
- Bed frame
- Box springs.
Waking up with bed bug bites is also a sign of bed bugs in the house.
Also, inspect the gaps and cracks on the bedframe and headboard. These crevices are hideouts and nesting sites for bed bugs.
You may notice bed bug eggs in these crevices. Those eggs will look like tiny grains of rice but pearly white in color.
Expand your search to anything and everything that is within 6-8 feet radius of your bed.
So, inspect for bed bugs in carpets, rugs, dresser drawers, and wardrobes.
Bed bugs can hide in any thin gap or crack in the walls, furniture, floor, and electrical sockets. So, don’t skip checking for bed bugs in them too.
Upon finding bed bugs and their signs, call a pest control company for bed bug treatment.
Do not try to use any fogger sprays or bug bombs. They make the infestation worse by causing the bed bugs to spread to all rooms of your house.
How Can You Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home?
Bed bugs are efficient hitchhikers. They latch onto your clothes, luggage such as suitcases and backpacks, and other belongings and travel with you to your home.
So, the best way to not bring bed bugs home is by treating your belongings before you enter the house or apartment.
Don’t bring your luggage inside the house. Keep them outside in your yard or garage.
Take all the washable items, such as clothes, and put them in a sealed plastic bag.
Take the sealed plastic bag inside and put the clothes into your washing machine to wash them in hot water. Dry the clothes in the dryer at heat.
Washing fabrics in hot water and drying them at high heat will kill any bed bugs in the fabric.
Vacuum clean the luggage bags outdoors. Don’t skip over the pockets, edges, folds, and seams of the bags. These are all hiding places for bed bugs.
Vacuum clean multiple times to ensure that there are no bed bugs in the luggage.
After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum dust bag safely outside your property to prevent bed bugs from spreading to your home and neighborhood.
A better and more effective alternative to vacuum cleaning is steam cleaning.
Steam cleaners produce heat of at least 120°F / 48°C which is enough to kill bed bugs in all life stages. This level of heat will destroy the bed bug eggs and kill the bed bug nymphs too.
Precautions To Take While Traveling
As most bed bug infestations occur when the bugs hitch a ride to your home, it’s essential to be cautious while you’re traveling.
Many hotels and motels can have a bed bug problem. So, check their history in bed bug registry to find out if they’ve had bed bug problems.
Upon entering the hotel room, check for signs of bed bugs on the bed and in the storage areas.
The first thing that you should look for is adult bed bugs.
Adult bed bugs are oval-shaped flat bugs that are reddish-brown in color. They kind of look like apple seeds.
On finding any, don’t panic. Contact the hotel management and ask them to change your room or to issue you a refund.
Avoid placing your luggage on the floor. Keep them on the luggage racks. If there isn’t any, ask for one from the hotel staff.
However, keep in mind that there can be other insects that look like bed bugs in the hotel too.
Fleas and carpet beetles are two such insects. But no matter what bugs you find, contact the hotel management asap.
Before leaving, launder all your clothes and have your suitcases cleaned.
Follow these minor precautions no matter where you travel, and you’ll significantly reduce chances of bringing bed bugs home.
If you’ve returned from a trip and you’re noticing signs of bed bugs in the house, then you’ve likely brought bed bugs home.
However, there’s no reason to be anxious or to panic.
Inspect the home for bed bugs and on finding their signs, hire an exterminator asap.
Also, remember that bed bugs can hitchhike from an infested place and travel with you to your home.
So, take precautions while traveling, and always inspect the hotel room for bed bugs.