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If you’ve never had bed bugs, you probably don’t spend any time worrying about them. If you have had bed bugs, you probably spend entirely too much time worrying about them. Frankly, neither approach is the correct one. If you never think about bed bugs, you could end up with a bad infestation because of an easily-avoided mistake. If you spend too much time stressing about bed bugs, they won’t even have to bite to ruin your night! Luckily, there’s a third option. Instead of blissful ignorance or constant worrying, we recommend a healthy awareness. Spend just enough mental energy thinking about bed bugs to make sure you never get them. Sure, you’ll have to think about bed bugs a little now, but you won’t have to think about them a lot later. So, how do you cultivate this healthy awareness? Start by practicing these four good anti-bed bug habits. Make these a part of your routine, and your bed bug worries will be a thing of the past.  

Keep the Bed Clear

Keep your bed clear to prevent bed bugsIt’s strange to think about, but you probably use your bed as a makeshift table all the time. You throw your dirty clothes onto it when you’re changing. You leave your books, laptop, headphones, or whatever else splayed out over it all day. Maybe you even eat in it! (We’re not judging--trust us). Unfortunately, however, bed bugs are notoriously capable hitchhikers. The most common way they get from place-to-place is by clinging onto materials that people move. If you’re not careful, you could end up delivering bed bugs straight to their preferred destination! When you take off your clothes at the end of the day, put them straight into the laundry basket. Ideally, you’d even check your clothes for pests as you took them off. Don’t lay anything you brought in from outside onto your bed. That includes bags, suitcases, purses--anything. Start paying attention to what you’re putting on and in your bed. You might be surprised what you do without even realizing it!

Check Your Bags

Check your bags thoroughly to prevent bed bugsRemember how we said bed bugs are great hitchhikers? One of the main ways they get into homes is by hiding out inside bags. Suitcases, purses, grocery bags--every type of bag you carry in and out of your home is fair game. Once inside bags, bed bugs seek out the darkest and most confined areas, making them hard to find. They’ll remain perfectly motionless until they have the opportunity to sneak into more permanent accommodations. When you bring bags into your home, unpack and check them before putting them away. If it’s possible, run the bag and its contents through the dryer on a hot setting. This advice counts double if you’re bringing a suitcase back from out of town. Even if you can’t run your bag through the dryer, unpack and carefully go through it. Check crevices, nooks, and crannies. If you find any bed bugs, carefully wash anything that was in the bag before putting it away.

Clean Your Sheets

Clean your sheets to prevent bed bugsDid you know you should wash your bed sheets every two weeks? Don’t be embarrassed--not too many people do. There are a lot of good reasons to clean your sheets. Washing sheets frequently removes dead skin, sweat, dirt, hair, and other stuff that your body leaves in your bed. Maybe most importantly, it’ll also give you an opportunity to look for and remove bed bug infestations. When you strip your bed to wash the sheets, take the time to give your mattress a quick once-over. Flip it over once or twice while checking the corners, nooks, and zipper for bed bugs. Consider vacuuming the mattress to remove crumbs, dirt, or dead skin. Check the frame, headboard, and bedskirt too. If you find bed bugs, strip the mattress bare and wash everything--skirt, sheets, pillowcases, and comforter. Even if you can’t always make it, aim to wash your bed sheets every two weeks. You’d be amazed what a difference it makes.

Hang It Up

Hang up your clothing to prevent bed bugsThe simplest good habit on this list can also make the biggest difference. When you’re folding up clean clothes or putting away dirty ones, hang them up. Keeping clothing off the ground stops bed bugs from crawling onto it and clinging to it. Clothing is one of the primary ways bed bugs move from place to place. If you keep yours out-of-reach, you’ll considerably limit bed bugs’ transport options. Isolated bed bugs are way easier to deal with than mobile ones. We’re not just talking about clothes, either. Storing your purses or backpacks on a coat rack at home is a good way to keep pests out. If you have reusable grocery bags, you should keep them in an elevated position like a shelf or cabinet. When you take your shoes off at home, keep them in a shoe cubby or similar elevated place. All this sounds simple--and it is!--but it’s also very important for keeping bed bugs at bay.   We’re not saying you should have to spend significant time or mental energy worrying about bed bugs. Nobody has time for all that stress. All we’re saying is, if you can internalize these habits, you won’t have to devote time to bed bugs. If you end up with an infestation you can’t deal with on your own, remember: you don’t have to. You can always call Plunkett’s Pest Control. We’ll take care of your problem fast, effectively, and permanently. All you have to do is call, and get back to your day. Sleep tight!

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