Bed bugs are one of the biggest hitch-hikers on the planet. They are associated with immense discomfort and can be really embarrassing when you have them in your house.
It is even more dismaying when you realize that the current infestation you have tried dealing with for long would have been prevented by some simple prevention tips.
Many people mention that if they knew earlier, they wouldn’t have had the infestation they have in their households, hotels, hostels and many more other places. Here are some of the prevention tips that you can use
Table of Contents
General Ways to prevent bed bugs
Following are general methods to avoid bed bugs
- Treating any infestations; if you have some bed bugs, it is better to institute some treatment on them so that they do not spread and become extensive. There are a number of trusted methods that you can use though you would want to call a professional pest agency to deal with it for you.
- Applying bed bug repellents that would help in keeping bed bugs away from you while you sleep.
- Conducting routine inspections; this will help keep you updated on any tell-tales of bed bugs and you can therefore capture them as early as possible before they can become a nuisance. Such inspections include checking your bedding, furniture among other areas that are rarely known to have some bed bugs such as behind wallpapers and picture frames on your wall.
- Natural home remedies such as application of repellents with methanol component have been shown to have excellent repellent properties. Such include oils like eucalyptus, lemon and lavendar. These can be applied on the skin or on the feet of the bed to repel bed bugs from climbing the leg of the bed.
- Clear any clutter that you may think provides a good hiding spot for bed bugs. Clutter may include the old furniture or bedding that you have had for years and may be harboring bed bugs.
How to prevent Bed Bugs from Biting while Sleeping
Getting that slumber that you envision is an important aspect of wellness to any being. Failure to get enough quality sleep may be detrimental in determining the quality of your day’s work and how you relate with other people.
Insomnia could be brought about a myriad of reasons and having bed bugs in your bed is one of the most prevalent reasons. In fact, bed bugs cause terror through not only being able to bite that results in an itch, but also by inducing great fear in you when you are in bed.
Research conducted by think tanks in various university hostels have shown that the psychological torture brought about by bed bugs is far worse than getting a few bites while asleep.
Therefore, it dawns on you that there is need to institute some preventive means to bed bugs when slumbering. Here are some of them:
Inspect your bed:
In order to prevent being bitten by bed bugs, conducting an inspection is really important. Check;
The corners of the bed if you have not slept in the bed before just to ensure that there are no looming bed bugs. In fact, having this inspection should give you an oversight on whether there are bed bugs and if so, then to what extent.
The corners and edge linings of mattresses too and if there are holes into it, try pinching some bit and observing. Do this for your bed making it a routine if you have been sleeping on it.
And observe the bedding for any blood stains. While mosquitoes could also leave similarly looking blood stains, those of bed bugs are normally shaped oval a depiction of the shape of their bodies.
Use bed bug repellents
Repellents have chemical ingredients that keep bed bugs away from you. The limited options of repellents available have been shown to be very effective.
Further reading: Bed Bug Repellents, types and how they work
Fix interceptors on the feet of your bed
You can also have interceptors fitted on the bed particularly on the feet so that there is a hindrance of movement of bed bugs onto your bed.
Interceptors may be any chemical or a physical barrier that prevents the bed bugs from climbing the bed and may be some oil applied to the feet of the bed.
You can apply oils such as those of cinnamon, neem, lavendar, lemon or eucalyptus. Most of these have derivatives of menthol, p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD) as the active compound which have shown some repellent activity. There are physical interceptors that wouldn’t allow access of bed bugs to the feet of the bed.
Treat your room and bedding
Invite some professional pest service to treat an infestation which includes your bedding. This may be done through various methods such as spraying, heating or freezing. This will help you get some sleep as well.
Position your bed away from the wall:
Bed bugs are also wall crawlers and this is one of the ways in which they are able to get to your bed. Try pushing your bed away from the wall to prevent this.
Dispose old and get new bedding:
It may be time to renew your bedding and furniture. Get a new bed and mattress after you have treated your house. In order to prevent a secondary infestation in case of failure, you can wrap or cover your mattress while in them monitoring phase (after-treatment).
Have the lights on while sleeping
This comes last owing to the uneconomical nature it portrays. It may work in preventing unveiling of bed bugs from the hideouts and also instilling some confidence while you sleep.
Covering & replacing your bedding such as mattresses.
There are different types of covers depending on whether they are impregnated or not. The impregnated covers of mattresses come in handy in providing double action as they prevent bed bugs from infesting the mattress while at the same time repelling them.
You can use this if you have just bought a new mattress following a treatment spree but just not yet sure if the bed bugs are totally gone.
Replacements done for mattresses perhaps every 2 to 3 years may be appropriate for the prevention of bed bug infestations. Note that old mattresses have bored holes in which bed bugs find it suitable to hide.
You can also replace your furniture especially that which is old as doing so as with mattresses may seem cumbersome.
Prevent bed bugs in an Apartment
An apartment confers various disadvantages when it comes to household infestations as the spread is rampant if not taken care of and the source may always not be known. Here’s what you can do:
- Do a first time check of any cracks and crevices on walls and ceilings and have them filled and repaired before having your items move in.
- Line any under-door spacing with some clothing at night as this may be a route through which bed bugs enter your house.
- At night, close the windows and ensure that the rubber lining tightly fits into its pane. This will prevent bed bugs from moving into your house at night. You can still have this done during the day though at this time, bed bugs are not as rampant.
- Limit the number of visits you make into other houses in the apartment as you may ferry some bugs into your house.
- Avoid kids running into your house and onto your seats and beds. You will want to be a bit more careful with them.
While at home, it is important that you know how to implement methods that prevent bed bugs. You will learn from the following tips:
- Do a regular inspection of your pets’ bedding if you have any for any signs that there are bed bugs.
- Identify any loosely fitted socket and switch plates as this are hiding spots of bed bugs. Ensure that they are well screwed onto the wall.
- Prepare an inspection tool box for thorough inspections. An ideal tool box may have screw drivers, a torch light or a UV light, some specimen bottles, a magnifying glass and some forceps. This box will help you in your routine inspection in identification of eggs, shells and bed bugs themselves.
- Regularly check your sheets and the coating of your furniture for any blood stains that resemble the shape of a bed bug’s body.
- You can insert your clothing in some plastic paper bag so as to prevent access by bed bugs
- Ensure that you do some vacuuming once in a while and especially after travel.
- Avoid purchase or inheritance of old furniture and bedding as these may have been harboring some bed bugs. It is better that you get new versions of these stuff to prevent having to mount responses to a prior preventable ordeal
Hotels and motels have been known to be central points of spread of infestations. Many people sleep in such places when in vacations or travelling. You therefore may not know who has been in the room you are booking. Therefore;
When you get to the room do some checking. Start with the bed, taking keen note of the edges and corners of both the bed and the mattress. Move to the sheets and flip them over and if any crevices in the mattress, inspect carefully.
If any, stains will resemble the shape of a bed bug which is ovoid and therefore occurs as small red oval spots. You might be fortunate to see the skins of bed bugs which are yellow in color.
You might need a magnifying glass for this. If there is any wooden furniture adjacent to the bed, conduct some inspection on them too.
Find that perfect spot for your luggage. This may be tricky; there are however options that you could explore. Some hotels and motels have a luggage rack on which you can place your bags.
Make sure that it is pulled away from the walls of the room just as your bed will be when you sleep. Check for hooks on which you can hang your bag. In case you do not find a rack in the room you are sleeping in, then you can place your luggage in the bathroom and bath tub.
Inform the front desk if there are warning signs so that you can get another room or you can move into another hotel or motel altogether.
Select a good hotel or motel. Particularly one with a good reputation concerning bed bugs and always keep a list of fallback places once your number one fails.
Prevention Tips when Travelling
These tips may be similar to those mentioned under ‘In hotels/motels” though with a little focus on the travel means too. Therefore, when travelling:
- Travel precautions are necessary to adhere to so that you do not carry bedbugs with you when you get home. You should be able to carry out an inspection on the luggage before you leave an infested room and take necessary precautions once you are home. Otherwise, you will find yourself carrying bed bugs into your house and in a month’s time hosting a whole colony of bed bugs.
- Get a good bus with known routine treatments. Just as you will do with the hotels and motels that you select. It might be preferable to have yourself book something other than the economy class in planes and some buses that have such partitions.
- You should also have your personal car sprayed and treated once in a while for you might not know whom or what you decide to carry some day that may have some bed bugs.
- You might also want to inspect the seat of your travel bus for a while as some do have bed bugs. Do it as you would have done with your bed with checking the corners, hinges and the edges of the seat.
- Wash your travel clothes immediately you are back. You should however do it separately, from other home laundry. Before then, you can leave the luggage and the clothing outside the house while you fathom on what to do with them. You can also dry them in a heater for 30 minutes to kill any bed bugs.
- Undress away from the carpets, bedding or furniture. This will enable you catch any bed bugs that may have fallen off your clothes while doing so.
Virtually all camps have a bed bug problem with an exception of a few. To be able to prevent bed bugs from terrorizing your stay in the camp:
- Train your child on how to do an inspection of the bed, furniture around and what they should do about it including informing their camp counsellor when they notice anything strange. This should be done before they have unpacked so that they can do so when they acquire a go-ahead flag.
- Placing the bags in a plastic bag will help them prevent carrying the bed bugs home. When they have arrived at home, they should drop their belonging into a trash bag to prevent entry of bed bugs.
- Vacuum or wash or dry with heat, the suitcases and backpacks before hosting them in their bed rooms. A follow-up measure on the belonging should be conducted a day later to capture any wandering bed bug that may have evaded.
- You will need to invite a professional pest control service when there is an infestation from camp or when you have identified the camp with a bed bug problem. Good thing there will be a follow up inspection to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment.
You would wish to have a bed bug free office for all available reasons one pertinent being ensuring that your image isn’t tainted. Therefore, do the following:
- Make vacuuming a routine in your place of work. Make sure that the offices and the environing areas are well vacuumed such as the hallways, kitchens and store rooms.
- Routine inspection of the offices. You will want to check the furniture and the upholstery for any signs of a bed bug infestation. In an office, furniture carries the day and may be harbors for bed bugs. Inspections can be done either by professionals or by the employees themselves. The latter can be trained on how to do so and even prevent transmission from other places into the offices.
- Other hiding spots such as socket and switch plates should not be forgotten. So shouldn’t frames of picture on walls and behind wall papers.
- Partner with a professional pest control agency to provide regular services to the office so that bed bugs can be prevented.
- If you have some old furniture, you might want to buy new ones. This follows the ‘cracky and creviced nature of old furniture. This, as seen in the previous sections of this material is a potential hide spot for bed bugs.
Colleges and schools are known to harbor bed bugs in plenty owing to the many people who reside in a space that is rather closeted.
This allows the bugs to thrive and cause an infestation. Here are some tips that you could use in case you are moving into a hostel or are living in one already.
Once you have arrived, ensure that you do a thorough inspection of the room before unpacking. If you are from an area with bed bugs such as camps, then it is important to have done an inspection of your bags and luggage before opening them.
You are likely to introduce bed bugs into your room if you didn’t have any before. To do this inspection, take keen note of the bedding, furniture adjacent the bedding and other subtle areas such as behind switch plates. Don’t forget the head board of the bed.
If you are moving out of a school dormitory to your home, then make sure that the bags you have carried are well checked for any tell-tales of bed bugs. It is also important to leave the bags outside your house once you arrive and while undressing, do so on a clear floor away from bedding or furniture.
Wash anything that has potential for harboring bed bugs in hot water then dry them in the sun. Make sure that you iron your clothing prior to folding them into your closet.
If you think that there is anything that you can carry from college or school, or home to college/school, it is imperative that you give it a thought first. If it is unnecessary to have them brought/taken from home, you’d rather discard them so that you do not ferry bed bugs. This is especially rampant with old furniture or some bedding that you have used either at home or college
Ensure that you report any sights of bed bugs to the relevant authority in your dormitory so that treatment is instigated as early as possible to prevent spread or increased infestation.
Shopping areas such as stores or malls are also beginning to host bed bugs. This is because bed bugs are professional hitch-hikers and area therefore able to rely on shopper like you.
This way, you end up with some clothing that are already harboring bed bugs and making a purchase only makes them end up in your home. In order to prevent this occurrence then you can consider the following:
- Don’t assume that all clothing you buy from a store is new and devoid of any bed bugs. It won’t hurt having a check on the clothing. If you are shopping form a yard sale, then this could be a hot spot for transfer of bed bugs to your home. It is better to avoid making purchases without inspecting from a yard sale. In order to capture these tiny critters, then pay keen interest to the linings of clothing, the edges, inside seams so that you observe for any bed bugs or eggs. Fortunately, the latter are white in color and will be visible on a dark clothing. When you see this, inform the store keeper so that measures are instituted.
- When you are looking at your image on the mirror in a shopping store, you can check the back of the mirror. This will enable you determine the extent of the infestation if any in the store. If you are a store keeper, then these are areas that you can have a look or inspection then mount a relevant response towards.
- Some shopping stores have some clothing organized in a pile on the floor. This is dangerous as it becomes easy for bed bugs to crawl into the pile even if it seems elegant.
- When you buy some clothing from the store, then make sure that you preserve it in its plastic paper until you have washed it. Then you can have the confidence of having it in your closet.
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