We’re nearing the end of National Bed Bug Awareness Month.
Here are some tips to keep bed bugs out of your home from expert and president of U.S. Bed Bugs.com, Adam Greenberg.
How to Travel without Bringing home Bed Bugs:
1. Do Your Research - Before you book a reservation in any hotel, check to see if the property has any reported bed bug complaints. Try checking TripAdvisor or Bed Bug Registry online for recent complaints.
2. Inspect the Room - Before you even bringing your personal belongings into the room, inspect it for any signs of bed bugs. Using a flashlight, begin by inspecting the bed and its surroundings. Check the sheets, mattress, box spring and headboard. Don’t forget to also check walls and any furniture close to the bed. “I always lift the headboard off the wall and shine a flashlight behind it looking for black spots in or around the cracks or screw holes,” said Greenberg.
3. Invest in Plastic Bags: If your room passes inspection, it is safe to bring in all your luggage but not safe to unpack yet. Many people that bring bed bugs home from a trip report that their room looked free of bed bugs. If there are just a few bed bugs in the room, you will not find them as they hide so well. Therefore, we strongly recommend that everyone bring along a variety of plastic bags to keep all their luggage, bags and souvenirs zipped up at all times when not in use. All it takes is one bed bug to come home with you to turn into thousands a month or so later.
4. Keep luggage in the Garage - Even though you may have bagged your suitcases while in the hotel room, there is still a small chance bed bugs could have crawled in while on the airplane or taxi. Find a place in the garage or as far away from the bedroom as possible to keep your suitcases. Many people bring their suitcase right into their bedroom to unpack which just gives the bed bugs a free ride to their next meal…you.
5. Wash & Dry Everything - Upon arriving home, empty your suitcases in your garage and any clothing should go right into the washing machine. Non-washable items should go right into the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Here are some simple steps to prevent bed bugs in your home:
1. Inspect any used furniture- Any item that could possibly be infested should not be brought into the home without being thoroughly inspected. This includes second hand furniture, beds, bedding and furnishings which may be acquired for the home. If you find that the item is infested do not bring into the home and discard of it properly.
2. Seal Cracks and Crevices with caulk. This will prevent bed bugs and other pests from coming into your home. Bed bugs can enter homes by traveling along duct work, pipes and wiring.
3. Arm your Home with Bed Bug Monitors and Traps- Installing insect monitors are a great way to catch bed bugs. They are totally safe around children and pets and will detect bed bugs within days of them entering your home.
4. Encase Your Mattress- Use Mattress and box spring encasements on beds in your home. If bed bugs ever get into your home they will want to harbor in the mattress and box spring. Encasements take away their favorite hiding place so they don't multiply undetected and prevent you from having to replace your bedding.
5. Reduce Clutter and Vacuum Often- Keep clothes, boxes, toys, shoes off the floor or under the bed. They provide the perfect hiding place for bed bugs. Be sure to vacuum your bedroom often, particularly around the bed and the bed itself. Pull your bed a couple inches away from the wall. Regularly inspect bed frames, seams of mattresses and box springs