Halloween is filled with everything spooky, scary, and a little bit creepy. And while we love to decorate the last thing you want is to find the real things lurking around your home. The name “bed bug” is slightly deceiving, as this creature can be found in more places than just between the sheets.
Despite what their name implies, their flattened bodies also allow them to conceal themselves in cracks and crevices around the room, such as in floorboards, skirting boards, or within furniture. However, they usually tend to stay close to anywhere you or a pet will be sleeping – which is why over a third (35%) of them are found in the box springs of a mattress, 23% are found in the mattress itself and 13% are found in the bed frame or headboard. It will travel within your home looking for you, or some other warm blooded animal, on which to feed.
1. Don’t Store Items Under Your Bed
Storing items under your bed creates opportunities for bed bugs to hide near your mattress. You may also unknowingly store an infested item.
2. Store Items in Plastic Containers
Bed bugs find it difficult to crawl on smooth surfaces such as glass or plastic. Keeping your storage items in a plastic container or plastic bag helps to prevent spreading.
3. Remove Clutter From the Floor
Keep your clothes off the floor. If a wandering bed bug happens to latch onto your sweater, you run the risk of infecting your dresser or closet. Plus, clutter increases the difficulty in eliminating bed bugs once they’ve been established.
4. Dust Mite-Proof Encasements
Cover your mattress or box spring in dust mite-proof encasements to create a barrier between you and any potential bed bugs. Plus, if you do have bed bugs, an encasement will trap the bed bugs and they will die of starvation.
5. Vacuum Regularly
This prevention method helps you remove stray bed bugs. Make sure to hoover all hiding hotspots, such as dust ruffles, under sofa cushions and under the bed. For further prevention, dispose of the vacuum bag in an outside trash can.
6. Keep Clothes off the Bed
You don’t know whose bed these bugs have infested and whose bed they haven’t. It’s best to keep your clothes off any beds if you want to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home. With that in mind, keep other people’s clothes off your bed. You never know if they may be transporting a bed bug from their home. Instead of placing guests’ coats on your bed, hang them in the coat closet.
7. Inspect your Lodging Area
Before unpacking your clothes in your new sleeping arrangements, such as a hotel, motel, or dorm room, inspect the space. Check curtains, the carpet, the walls, and surrounding areas for any signs of bed bugs. Most importantly, check the bed for any signs. If you spot a potential infestation, ask for another room. Avoid placing your clothes on the bed.
8. Wash Clothes and Luggage After Traveling
Ensure your travels don’t bring home a bed bug. Immediately wash your clothes and clean any luggage, including suitcases, backpacks, and purses. If you share laundry facilities with others, such as in apartment complex, laundromats, student accommodation, take extra caution. When you transport your items to be washed, keep them in a plastic bag and once they are washed, remove them from the dryer and place them straight back in the bag. Fold them at home where it’s safer to do so.
9. Wash Sheets on the Highest Setting
About once a week, wash your bed linens at the highest temperature. The heat can help kill bed bugs and their eggs.
10. Avoid Taking Furniture From Curbs or Dumpsters
A free couch on the side of the road can be tempting. But bringing it into your home can lead to a grave bed bug infestation. Avoid taking any furniture from curbs or dumpsters, as bed bugs may have infested them.
11. Keep Your Bed Sheets off the Ground
When making your bed or sleeping, make sure your sheets are not touching the floor. A hanging sheet allows a wandering bed bug to crawl up to your bed.