Protecting Your Home from Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. They can move from an infested site to a new home by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing.

Although they typically feed on blood every five to ten days, bed bugs can be quite resilient; they are capable of surviving several months to a year without feeding.

A few simple precautions can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Inspect the luggage rack in your hotel room for bed bugs.

  • Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.

  • Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes or a cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to control bed bugs.

  • Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.

  • Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.

  • Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)

  • If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by:

    • Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.

    • Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.

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CNY Bed Bug Extermination