A bed bug infestation in your home is one of the worst things that can happen. Interestingly, bed bugs pretty much vanished in the U.S. for a 40-year stretch. Unfortunately, they are reemerging in recent years and the chances of encountering them in your home is increasing, especially if you travel or use a laundromat.

There are a few steps you can take to prevent these disgusting blood-sucking critters from making a hotel out of your home. Read on to learn how to prevent a bed bug infestation.

5 Points to Know to Avoid a Bed Bug Infestation in Your Home

5 Points to Know to Avoid a Bed Bug Infestation in Your Home

Use Caution When Returning From Trips

Bed bugs are crafty hitchhikers, and easily find their way into travelers’ luggage if they stay at a hotel with a bed bug problem. Upon returning from any trip, immediately wash your clothing and any other fabric in hot water followed by a spin in the dryer on the highest heat setting. Heat is deadly to bed bugs and will kill them in the material.

It’s best to unpack your items outside so you don’t bring the insects into your home. Place clothing and all other items to be washed in sealed plastic bags when you bring them inside and only remove them when they’re going into the washer.

Clean all of your personal possessions and thoroughly vacuum your bags and suitcases. If you traveled during the summer, leave the luggage out in the hot sun so the heat can kill any lingering bugs.

Be Wary When Buying Used Furniture

Carefully inspect secondhand seating, bedding, and other furniture for signs of bed bugs. These items are usually hotbeds for the insects.

Very often you can spot them with the naked eye, and you may see traces of their shed exoskeletons. Pass up the item if you see anything that indicates a bed bug infestation. 

Vacuum and Clean Your Home Regularly

Vacuum your home regularly to eliminate any hitchhiking bed bugs or reduce their population. The insects are really good at hiding in corners and tight spaces, so vacuum every nook and cranny of a room using attachments.

Wash bedding at least once a week and inspect your mattress and furniture for bed bugs. Also, consider purchasing a protective cover to encase your mattress and box spring. It will prevent bed bugs from finding their way inside them.

Get rid of any clutter as it can also harbor bed bugs.

Be Careful When Using Shared Laundry Facilities

Follow the same bed bug guidelines as returning from a trip when you use a public or apartment building laundromat. Place your items in a sealed plastic bag immediately after washing and drying. Always dry the clothing using a high heat setting so it will kill any bed bugs from someone else’s laundry before they can transfer to your clothing.

Buy a Heat Chamber

Exterminators such as Altus Pest Control kill bed bugs in homes by heating the infested room to a high temperature. If you think an item of clothing or bedding contains bed bugs, you can place it in a portable heat chamber designed to eliminate bed bugs.

These heat chambers can run anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to over $1,000, but if you’re suffering from a bed bug problem they’re totally worth it.

Protect Your Home From Bed Bugs With These Tips

Bed bugs are nasty, but you can prevent them from entering your home by following the above tips. Stay diligent with these cleaning habits and they shouldn’t become a problem.

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About the Author: Ashley Edwards