Bed bugs are predators of opportunity. They don’t have to hunt for hosts, the just hold out their figurative thumbs and hitchhike from place to place. You may feel perfectly safe in your home, all the while outside your home the places you visit could be placing you in danger of an infestation. Bed Bugs can travel from place that has been infested all the way to your home by catching a ride your clothing, your luggage, or in boxes and things picked up at yard sales. Do you have children? Schools and nurseries can also be a hub of travel for the elusive Bed Bug. Bed Bugs normally feed every few days, but are known to last as long as a year without a meal, making them impossible to wait out. Treatments can range from products placed in your home, to heat treatments designed to eradicate issues.

 

What steps can you do to avoid the unthinkable?

 

First, and most importantly, DO NOT allow the fear of Bed Bugs cripple your ability to go out and live your life. Fear of Bed Bugs can be a psychological terror to some, and if you take the below precautions, peace of mind can be contained. Not everything is fool proof, and you may get an issue still, but taking these steps will greatly reduce your chances.

Purchase a mattress encasement that is rated for Bed Bugs so that in the event you carry one home, the chances of the infestation staying hidden is minimized.

Deposit bags and purchases in the foyer of your home and unload them, checking the cracks and creases to ensure they are clean of debris, all the while looking for anything out of the ordinary. This practice is good to keep your items clean and tidy, and also may catch a problem before it can coalesce into an issue.

If you frequent yard sales or secondhand stores, check these items carefully as sellers are less likely to divulge they had an issue, due to social anxiety or pressure of feeling dirty, which they are not. Bed Bugs can happen to anyone, of any social standing. Ensure these items are checked before purchasing, and not after your bring them into your vehicle or home.

If you live in an apartment complex, connected town home, or a living facility, take special precautions to avoid transfer from neighboring units. The installation of protective devices called Door Sweeps can help keep unwanted debris and pests from crawling under and gaining entry.

If you utilize a laundromat, ensure to avoid shared bins or hampers, and take your items directly from the dryer to your vehicle.

Keeping your home clean on a regular basis prevents hiding areas from forming making spotting Bed Bugs much easier. Regular cleaning and vacuuming can also remove eggs and even adults of Bed Bugs or other insects like fleas, should an issue arise without your knowledge.

Taking these steps won’t guarantee you free from getting Bed Bugs, but are a good step in reducing the risk involved with pests in general. Having a good routine Pest Control company like Byrd Pest Control will also have a set of professionally trained eyes inspecting your home on every visit for Bed Bugs and other problems such as leaks, cracks, and maintenance items that you may miss.

Good luck, stay vigilant and most importantly, live free of fear regarding pests!

 

Photo by Kari Shea