The thought of having bed bugs in your home is a scary one. Getting rid of these tiny parasites is a long and difficult process that involves a lot of time, cleaning and money. You may think that it’s impossible for a bed bug infestation to happen in your home. It’s a common myth that bed bugs only reside in dirty places. But the truth is cleanliness has nothing to do with the living conditions of bed bugs. An infestation can happen anywhere from apartment complexes to 5-star hotels.
Infestations can be avoided if you know which risk factors to watch out for and the proper precautions you should take against them. Below we have listed a number of risk factors that could potentially make you more susceptible to bed bugs.
Bed bugs are excellent hitch hikers. They can travel from place to place by hiding in luggage, on clothing and many other items. If you travel frequently and stay at a hotel or any other place where many people are coming and going, you are at a greater risk of carrying bed bugs back into your home.
When staying at a hotel you should never put your luggage or belongings on the bed, floor or any other soft surface. In addition to mattresses, bed bugs can be hiding in carpet or on the fabric of chairs and ottomans. It’s best to keep your luggage and belongings on a hard surface such as a table or nightstand. It’s also important to carefully inspect clothing and luggage that you take on a trip as soon as you return home. If possible, do not take the items into the house. Conduct your inspection in a garage or unfinished basement in order to prevent bringing any possible lingering bed bugs into your house.
Sleeping on an Unprotected Mattress
Sleeping on an unprotected mattress won’t directly cause a bed bug infestation. However, if bed bugs ever do find a way into your home, an unprotected bed is much more likely to become infested. A bed bug mattress protector is made of tightly woven material that will create an impenetrable barrier, keeping bed bugs from making a home on your bed.
Buying Used Mattresses or Soft Furniture
Buying or accepting second-hand furniture seems like a good way to save some money, but be very careful. Bed bugs could easily be hiding in even lightly used mattresses or soft furniture. Second-hand items could have been infested with bed bugs without the previous owners ever knowing it. Be sure to conduct a thorough inspection before bringing second-hand furniture into your home, even if the items are from friends or family.
Getting rid of bed bugs once they enter your home is a task that takes a lot of persistence and time. It is better to pay attention to the detail of prevention, and nip an infestation in the bud before it ever happens. Even if you have any or all of these risk factors, taking the proper precautions will easily help you keep bed bugs out of your home.