Powerful Bed Bug Prevention Techniques
As with many other pest infestations, the most effective way to combat their presence is to stop their infiltration from the beginning.
While it seems impossible to completely eliminate these creatures from entering your home, there are potent prevention techniques designed to significantly reduce the likelihood of an infestation.
Regardless of how an infestation begins, adhering to the following prevention techniques is much easier than terminating an active infestation. Continue reading to understand how using these simple steps can effectively prevent an infestation from taking over your home.
Everyday Prevention Techniques – Daily Tips to Thwart an Infestation
Depending on your daily activities and interaction with the outside world, your risk level of an infestation can dramatically vary. Keeping this in mind, the following tips can work for anyone who wishes to avoid an infestation:
Pre-Travel Tips - Taking the proper measures before you travel can save you huge bed bug headaches later. Pack a travel-size bed bug killer to take with you, just in case you spot bed bugs while you travel. Also taking a suitcase encasement is a great way to prevent bed bugs from infiltrating your luggage.
Post-Travel Tips – Many infestations are caused by returning from a trip where bed bugs have found their way into your belongings. These creatures are notorious for hitching a ride via suitcases, boxes and toiletry bags. Therefore, the most effective way to prevent an infestation caused by traveling is to thoroughly vacuum all suitcases and baggage immediately upon return BEFORE bringing them into the house. Wash all clothing and fabrics in high heat immediately to kill any bugs that attached themselves throughout your travels.
Regularly Inspect Bedding and Furniture – Regardless of whether or not you've recently traveled, bed bugs can invade your home through windows, baseboards, outlets or any other crevice in your home. Check your mattress, furniture and other hidden areas in your home for signs of a bed bug infestation. Of course, if you notice bites on your body, an inspection is mandatory.
Inspect Second Hand Clothing and Furniture – While second-hand furniture and clothing is an excellent way to save money, it's also a wonderful opportunity for bed bugs to find a new home. Prior to bringing these items into your home, thoroughly inspect all items with a flashlight (preferably a black light) for signs of bed bugs. Make sure you clean and vacuum thoroughly as well.
Prevention While Shopping – Don't Bring Home More Than You Bought
Throughout the past several decades, bed bugs have made a serious resurgence in America. One of the most popular ways these creatures invade homes is by hitching a ride from a store to your home. While you may think this is only a concern when shopping at thrift stores, bed bugs have been identified in even the finest retail establishments. Therefore, when exploring the newest treasures at your favorite stores, keep the following in mind:
Quickly Review Clothing Items – Before trying on a new clothing item, thoroughly inspect each piece for discoloration or reddish/black stains. These are telltale signs a bed bug has been there. While some retail stores steam previously tried-on clothing (which is why you should never replace items you've tried on back to its original rack), there are reports of many home infestations after a resident unknowingly brought the little buggers home while in the dressing room.
Inspect Shoes Before Purchasing – Bed bugs thrive in dark, hidden spaces. Due to their compact size, thousands of infestations begin at the shoe store. Prior to purchasing a new pair of shoes, thoroughly inspect the seams, creases and interior pads of each shoe. Look for common signs of bed bugs, such as fabric discoloration, white sticky eggs, and small shell-like skins. Make sure to examine the shoe box as well because bed bugs tend to hide in the corners of cardboard boxes.
Carefully Hang Items in the Dressing Room – Instead of plopping clothes on a cushioned seat or on the floor, make sure to hang all items on hooks provided in the dressing room. This goes for your own clothing too. One of the most costly mistakes shoppers make is laying their own clothing on cushions or on the floor of dressing rooms. All it takes is several minutes for a bed bug to find their way into the creases of your clothing.
Immediate Wash New Clothing – While you may have purchased clothing at high-end retail establishments, never assume newly purchased clothes are free from infestation. Immediately upon returning home from the store, wash and dry your new clothes on high heat. If the fabric is dry-cleaned only, drop them off at the cleaners on your way home. While this may seem paranoid, in the realm of bed bugs it's better to be safe than sorry.
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