Everyone has heard the phrase “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”. But not as many people are actually aware of how bed bug infestations occur, or even what exactly a bed bug is. It’s a common thought of many that bed bugs only exist in dirty places such as cheap motels or seedy apartment complexes, but the truth is bed bugs don’t discriminate. An infestation can happen to anyone at any time. Preventing infestations depends on knowing how infestations happen and the proper measures you can take to prevent against them.
Bed Bugs Hitchhike Bed bugs are great hitchhikers! If you travel frequently, either locally or internationally, you may be at a higher risk for a bed bug infestation. A bed bug could easily catch a ride on personal items you’ve had in a place where people are constantly coming and going. This could be any type of hotel, condo, apartment or even another person’s home. The way bed bugs enter your home is by hiding out in a suitcase, or even on the fabric of clothing you had with you while traveling. Once you re-enter your home, the bed bugs will then will infest your beds, or even your furniture and carpets. How To Protect Yourself Even if you don’t travel a lot there are still ways bed bugs could sneak into your home. If you ever bring used furniture into your home you run the risk of an infestation. Bed bugs may also come home with kids returning from college. That means measures of protection should be taken even by people who don’t travel often.
- Protect Your Bed - One of the most effective ways to protect against bedbugs is to use mattress encasements and pillow protectors on all the beds in your home. A bedbug mattress protector and bed bug pillow protectors are made of tightly woven material that will act as a shell to keep bed bugs from entering the fibers of your bed.
- Take Caution When Traveling - When you do travel, carefully inspect any clothing or luggage you take with you as soon as you return home. Other steps you may want to take during travel is to store your suitcase, clothing and other personal items on hard surfaces. If you put these items on the bed or carpeting, any bed bugs that are present will have easy access.
- Avoid Using Used Mattresses or Other Soft Furniture - Buying or accepting used furniture may seem like a good idea at first because it could save you some money. But the potential risk that comes with it for a bed bug infestation is not worth it. Second-hand items could have been infested with bed bugs without the previous owners ever knowing it. If you still want to use secondhand furniture items, be sure to conduct a thorough inspection before bringing it into your home, even if the items are from friends or family.
Yes, it’s scary to think that a bed bug infestation can happen in even the cleanest of homes. But by taking the right precautions, you can help ensure that your family won’t ever have to deal with one!