1. SEARCH FOR THE BUG DIRTTo keep those grimy bloodsuckers out of your bed, know what you are looking for. Bed bugs are brown, flat and about three-sixteenths of an inch long. They typically hide in small crevices by day and feed by night. Brown, rust-colored stains – the feces left over by your unwelcome house guest – are a sign of bed bugs.
2. LOCK DOWN HOME BASE
Purchasing mattress and box frame covers to keep bed bugs at bay is key to prevention. Using zippered covers prevents bed bugs from infesting the place they are most likely to hide – your bed. This also simplifies detection.
3. TELL HITCHHIKERS TO HIT THE ROAD
You can pick up bed bugs while staying in hotels, going to movie theaters or even trying on clothes. To prevent bed bugs from using you as their next taxi ride, keep an eye out for them in public. If staying at a hotel, be sure to check under the mattress and sheets.
4. BRING HEAT TO THE DEADBEATS
Suspect you’ve been used as a free ride? It is best to remove suspect clothes and items before entering the main area of you home, preferably on a non-carpeted surface. Place washable items in a wash and dry cycle. Most non-washables can be run through the clothes dryer on high heat for 30 minutes, which will kill all bed bugs and any eggs that may be present.
5. KNOW WHEN TO GO PRO
Even when you’ve taken time to learn how to prevent bed bugs, they can be hard to escape and even harder to remove from a home. DIY treatments can make an infestation worse and require harsh chemicals. A pest management professional can inspect your home and discuss the best options for getting rid of bed bugs in your home, saving you time and money.