Many of our customers ask us what they could have done differently in order to not end up with a bed bug infestation.  Unfortunately, bed bugs are a worldwide epidemic at this point and although there are precautions that you can take to hopefully prevent bed bugs from coming home with you, there is not “preventative” treatment to ensure that your home will not become infested.  Here are some precautions that you can take to decrease the risk of a bed bug infestation in your home:

When traveling:

  1. Inspect beds by removing sheets and inspecting along the seams of the mattress for bed bugs, fecal spot staining and eggs. Corners are a common area for activity.  If possible, lift the mattress to check      between the mattress and the box spring.  In the event that you find potential or confirmed activity, notify management immediately and change rooms or if need be change locations completely and repeat the process in your new room.  DO NOT stay in a room directly above, below or adjacent to the suspect room as bed bugs are capable of crawling through wall void spaces to enter neighboring rooms.
  2. Before unpacking, check behind the headboard (if present), along creases of chairs, and inside of drawers.  A small flashlight will make these inspections faster and more accurate.
  3. When possible, hang personal belongings such as clothing rather than placing it into drawers.  A secondary option is to leave clothing items in the suitcase and place the entire suit case into a large plastic bag.  If you must unpack your items, inspect them carefully both as you pack them in preparation for leaving and upon arriving home.  ALL clothing items should be moved immediately into the washer and washed on hot water upon arrival home in order to kill off any hitch hikers.
  4. Remember that bed bugs can be found virtually anywhere at this point, so it is possible for luggage to become infested during plane, train and bus rides as well.
  5. Inspect your suit case and thoroughly vacuum all surfaces before placing it in storage.
  6. If you believe that you are being bit, contact a pest control professional for an inspection & treatment in the event that activity is confirmed.

Used Furniture/Home Items:

  1. Thoroughly inspect all used items prior to bringing them into the home.  Clothing should be washed on hot water setting and dried on high heat whenever possible. Furniture, when possible, should be inspected by a pest control professional.  If a professional inspection is not an option thoroughly inspect along seams, under cushions, and under the dust cover (if present) on the bottom.  Use a crack and crevice attachment on a vacuum to clean cracks and crevices.
  2. If you find any potential evidence of bed bug activity, do NOT move the furniture inside until it can be inspected and treated by a professional.