Once a bed bug infestation has occurred in a residence it can be very difficult, and costly, to remove. In many cases, complete eradication will require hiring a professional exterminator, but that can be extremely expensive. The best way to avoid paying that kind of money is to take steps to prevent bed bugs from infesting a home at all.
Bed bugs were nearly eradicated in the 1950s, but there has been a steep increase in the number of reported cases in recent years. Keeping them out of a home may require some advanced planning and changing a few habits.
Inexpensive ways to prevent a bed bug infestation
*Clean – Although bed bugs can be found just about anywhere, including very clean residences, removing clutter can eliminate the places they like to hide. Get rid of unnecessary piles of material, including papers. Be sure to clean the nooks and crannies of every room and behind picture frames hanging on walls. Vacuum the carpets in every room on a regular schedule.
*Fill cracks – Check around the outside of the home for any gaps and fill them with caulk. Bed bugs have a knack for getting into the smallest of places, so look carefully. Do the same inside, especially along baseboards, where they can hide.
*Check used furniture – Before bringing any recently acquired pieces of used bedding or upholstered furniture into the house, check them carefully for signs of bed bugs or the actual pests themselves. Be sure to look underneath them and in the seams and folds. If a steamer is available, run it over the furniture outside. Bed bugs can be killed by very high temperatures.
*Travel safe – When going on trips, try to keep luggage separated from the bags of other travelers. If luggage will be mixed, use a hard shell case if possible. If not, wrap the bags and all personal possessions in plastic. When arriving at the destination, inspect the room for signs of bed bugs, including reddish brown stains on bedding and upholstered furniture. Before looking around the room, be sure to keep the luggage off the floor and away from the wall. If this is not possible, put them in the middle of the bathroom floor. The tile floor and bright lights will remove any hiding places for the bugs and make them easy to spot if they move toward the bags.
*Entertainment – When going to the movie theater, do not place purses or coats on the floor or even the adjoining seat. Once the lights go out it will be impossible to tell if a few of the pests have crawled inside.
Through the 1950s, Americans were very aware of bed bugs and how to avoid them. Most peopletoday need to relearn many of those habits that prevent the pests from infesting a home. Luckily, it only requires changing a few habits and being wary when out and about.