How to Prepare for Bed Bugs at Home
Bed bugs are unwelcome creatures that can invade homes and ruin the sleeping experience. Here's how to prepare for a bed bug infestation.
When it comes to bed bug prevention, killing the bugs you see isn’t enough. You have to eliminate the rest of the insects, including their larvae and eggs, that stick into discreet hiding spots inside the household. You can’t risk leaving a single bug alive. Remember that bed bugs reproduce fast and grow their population in just a matter of days and weeks.
What Bed Bugs are Like
Bed bugs are tiny wingless insects and brown oval-shaped bodies. Although they are only the size of an apple seed, these pesky critters should not take lightly as they are very much capable of causing huge trouble inside your home once they have already established a big colony. They don’t have difficulty keeping themselves unseen, unnoticed, and unreachable by humans because they can easily hide in tiny cracks or holes.
Bed bugs are usually spotted on people’s beds. They stay close to humans because they are attracted to sweat and carbon dioxide. Most of all, they depend on human blood for survival. To get into their blood meal with ease, they especially go active at night when people are fast asleep. They take advantage of their sleeping host and subtly suck blood for about 10 minutes until their bodies become rounder, bulging with blood.
Consequently, people who get bitten by bed bugs will soon find flat red welts on their skin. Since bed bug bites are extremely itchy, people tend to get restless and lose sleep day by day. Others have severe reactions to bed bug bites that they scratch too much until the bites become inflamed and infected.
Getting Prep against a Bed Bug Infestation
Now that you are aware of the nature of those irritating nocturnal creatures, it’s time to prepare your home for a bed bug infiltration. Dealing with bed bugs is never easy as this crawlies are challenging to find and exterminate. They can enter any household through other people’s belongings like backpacks, suitcases, clothes, shoes, and even furniture. So, you need to have your home bedbug-proof early on to prevent these pests from setting foot inside your house. Here’s how:
- Familiarize yourself with the signs of bed bug activity.
You have to know their behaviors. First, bed bugs leave fecal spots in areas they usually stay. Their feces appear like black dots similar to the ones made by a black marker. Usually, fecal spots appeared on beddings, pillowcases, and the sides and seams of the mattress. Similarly, dark brown or red bloodstains can also be found on your sheets or mattress as a result of crashed bed bugs. Other signs include bed bug shells or molted exoskeletons since bed bugs shed skin five times before reaching their adult stage. You can also find these light brown translucent shells in their hiding spots like box springs, bed frames, headboards, drawers, bookshelves, etc. You should also be able to tell between a bed bug bite and a mosquito bite. Bed bug bites usually appear in clusters in straight or zigzag patterns. They are way itchier and don’t go away easily.
- Purchase bedbugs-proof encasements for mattresses.
One of the easy ways to protect your bed from being infiltrated by bed bugs is using encasements, particularly those that have been pre-treated with pesticides. These encasements help entrap and starve any bugs living in your bed. Just take note that bed bugs are so resilient they stay alive without eating for months or even a year. So long as you keep your mattress covered with high-quality encasements, you can leave the bugs to die of starvation.
- Take caution when buying second-hand furniture.
Bed bugs prefer fabric and so they like taking shelter in upholstered furniture. Be very careful when purchasing padded sofas, especially those that are pre-owned or handed down. Make to inspect and then clean the furniture before putting them inside your home. Vacuum cleaning and spraying newly purchased furniture with pesticide is suggested.
Protect your suitcase from bed bugs.
People who travel a lot oftentimes unknowingly bring bed bugs back home. These pests are such great hitchhikers and suitcases and clothes are their most easy targets. When traveling, it would be wise to cover your entire luggage with a plastic bag or even a trash bag to protect it from bed bugs. More importantly, experts recommend placing your suitcase on the luggage holder away from the walls or in the bathroom once you are inside your hotel room. After returning from your trip, don’t forget to vacuum your suitcases to suck the bugs out.
- Wash your clothes with hot water and apply high heat when drying them.
Washing your clothes, especially the ones you have brought from your travel (both used and unused clothes), with hot water is one preventive move against bed bug infestation. To further kill the remaining bugs, dry your clothes in the dryer for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Eliminate the clutter.
Having clutter only provides bed bugs with more potential hiding spots. Therefore, cleaning and removing clutter from your home are the best means to deny those critters of any residency. In addition, seal any cracks on walls, furniture, and appliances.
Homeowners need to apply these preventive ways to safeguard their homes from bed bugs. Bed bug removal will be much easier and more effective if people learn to equip their homes against pests. For advice and assistance, you can always call a pest control company in your area.