Bed bugs and bed bug bites are the worst. The good news is, though, preventing bed bugs in your home takes thought and care, but it is not impossible or too difficult. We recommend cultivating a healthy bed bug awareness so you can keep them from finding a home in your mattress.
Unsure of where to start? Learn more about bed bugs by reading this blog, and then incorporate these 4 habits into your routine to make bed bugs a thing of the past.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects. They range from 1 to 7mm in size and have oval-shaped bodies that can either be flat or slightly plump, depending on when they last fed.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are savvy and sneaky hitchhikers. They can get into homes and businesses through used furniture, hitching a ride on luggage, or other items with upholstered surfaces. In apartments and hotels, it is not uncommon for bed bugs to sneak between rooms.
These creepy crawlies are difficult to get rid of once they’re in your space. That’s why the experts at Plunkett’s put together a few healthy habits to add to your routine to keep bed bugs away.
Habits that Help Prevent Bed Bugs
Don’t let the bed bugs bite—make these habits a part of your routine:
1. Don’t Put Stuff on Your Bed
There’s a good chance that you throw your dirty clothes, books, laptop, or headphones onto your bed without thinking about it; maybe, you even eat on your bed. Unfortunately, bed bugs are notorious for their hitchhiking skills. The most common way bed bugs get from place to place is by clinging onto materials. If you’re not careful, you could end up delivering bed bugs straight to your mattress.
How to prevent bed bugs by keeping your bed clear:
When you take off your clothes at the end of the day, put them straight into the laundry basket. In a perfect world, you’d check your clothes for pests as you took them off. Don’t put anything you brought in from outside on your bed; that includes bags, suitcases, purses—anything.
2. Check Your Bags
Like we said before, bed bugs are great hitchhikers. So, the answer to the question, where do bed bugs come from? The simple answer: your stuff. One of the main ways they get into homes is by latching onto bags. Once they’re inside the bags, bed bugs seek out the darkest and most confined areas, making them extremely difficult to find. They’ll remain perfectly motionless until they have the opportunity to sneak into more permanent accommodations.
How to check for bed bugs in your bags:
Unpack and check your bags before putting them away. If possible, run the bag and its contents through the dryer on a hot setting. This advice is especially important if you’re bringing a suitcase back from out of town. If you can’t run your bag through the dryer, unpack and carefully go through your stuff. Check nooks, crevices, and crannies. If you find any bed bugs, carefully wash anything that was in the bag before putting it away.
3. Clean Your Sheets
You may be thinking, can you get bed bugs from not washing your sheets? No—bed bugs have absolutely nothing to do with cleanliness levels. However, washing your sheets regularly gives you the opportunity to look for and remove any possible 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 bed skirt, too. If you find bed bugs, strip the mattress bare and wash everything—skirt, sheets, pillowcases, and comforter.
4. Hang Up Your Clothes and Belongings
When you’re folding clean clothes or putting away dirty ones, hang them all up. Keeping clothes off the ground stops bed bugs from crawling onto them and clinging to your items. Clothing is one of the primary ways bed bugs move from place to place. If you keep yours out of reach, you’ll limit bed bugs’ transport options. It’s also important that you hang up your purses, backpacks, and other items.
How to prevent bed bugs by hanging up your clothes:
Right after laundry, hang up your clothes. If you have reusable grocery bags, make sure they are set on a shelf or hung up somewhere. The same goes for shoes; try your best to keep them on a shelf, in a cubby, or hung up somewhere.
What are the Early Signs of Bed Bugs?
Are you waking up to itchy spots that weren’t there when you went to bed? If you’re concerned that these may be bed bug bites, keep an eye out for these other early signs of bed bugs:
- A musty odor. This comes from the bed bugs’ scent glands.
- Blood stains on your bed
- Bed bug fecal spots, shed skins, or bed bug eggs or eggshells on the corners of your mattress, by the zipper, or in other nooks and crannies
- “Rusty” spots (bed bug excrement) on your sheets, mattress, and walls
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Get Help from Plunkett’s!
Bed bug infestations are difficult to eliminate once they are in your home. To feel confident that your bed bug infestation is gone for good, it is best to hire a professional pest control company for bed bug treatment. Our process for getting rid of bed bugs is efficient, effective, and safe. Get in touch with Plunkett’s Pest Control to say bye-bye to bed bugs!