3 Tips to Avoid Getting Bed Bugs

Are you looking for tips to avoid getting bed bugs in your home? Whether you’re moving to a new house or apartment, or you travel often, chances are you’ve heard horror stories about how bed bugs can hitch rides home undetected, causing chaos and infestations as they go.

Thankfully, there are a few simple preventative measures that you can take to reduce your risk of infestation. Here are three simple and practical ways to avoid getting bed bugs so you can keep your home and loved ones safe from these stress-inducing, unwanted house guests.

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How do you get bed bugs?

Bed bugs can be challenging to eradicate once they take up residence in your home, so how do you get them?

Bed bugs have recently made a wide-scale resurgence. They are highly adaptive and resilient, good at hiding and spreading from place to place. As a result, bed bugs are commonly picked up during traveling in places like hotel rooms, buses, taxis, and planes.

Second-hand furniture and clothing can be potential vehicles for bed bug infestations, especially if the home they came from had an existing problem. Therefore, used furniture should be avoided whenever possible if you want to keep bed bugs away, and thrifted clothing should be put through the dryer on the highest setting possible as soon as it comes home.

It is also possible for bed bugs to come home from school, work, friends’ houses, and all kinds of other places and activities. Apartment buildings are especially susceptible to the spread of bed bugs, as the bugs can use the building’s structure to move from unit to unit. Even riding in someone else’s car is enough to bring bed bugs home.

3 All-natural tips to avoid getting bed bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs can be expensive, exhausting, and time consuming. Fortunately, there are some simple and all-natural ways to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home in the first place. All you’ll need is some knowledge and diligence, and these tips to avoid getting bed bugs.

Once you’re familiar with the basics of bed bug behavior and biology, you’ll know exactly how to spot them, ways to avoid them, and what to do if you find them inside.

1. Know the Signs of Bed Bugs

Avoiding bed bugs starts with knowing what they look like and how they behave. They can hide in various places, which has led to them becoming a significant public health concern.

Adult bed bugs are between 5-7mm in length. Females are slightly larger and rounder than males, but both are flat and oval-shaped with brownish-red coloring, six legs, and two antennae.

Bed bug adults start their development as eggs and progress through a series of molts as they grow. Young and developing bed bugs are called nymphs and are not the same color as adult bed bugs. Nymphs are different colors at different stages.

Why is this important? Bed bugs are good at hiding, so you may not immediately see the adults if the population hasn’t grown much. You could, however, spot eggs, molted bed bug skins, speckly blood stains, and small brown droppings. With a flashlight, you could even spot eggs and nymphs, especially around the buttons and seams of the mattress.

When infestations become heavy, you might notice a rich, musky-sweet smell that many find repulsive. So let’s just say bed bugs are not the type of guest you want hanging around your home.

2. Perform Regular Bed Bug Inspections

Are you looking for bed bugs regularly? Good idea, especially if you are at higher risk of catching them (due to travel, thrifting, or other circumstances). You can perform these inspections yourself or hire someone to come out semi-regularly. Either way, vacuum consistently with a bagged vacuum and dispose of the bag immediately afterward.

Of all the tips to avoid getting bed bugs, inspecting a room for bed bugs isn’t too tricky, but it will take patience and a keen eye for details. A flashlight might also be helpful. Start by inspecting:

Around the bed – Don’t forget to look over the frame, headboard, and boxspring too!
The mattress – Pull the fitted sheet off the mattress and inspect along the seams for activity.
Nightstand – Check the stand itself, as well as any books, electronics, and lampshades.
Counch or chairs – Look around any seams and under the cushions.

If you travel, watching for bed bugs while you fly, rideshare, or stay in a hotel room is a good idea. Hotels are major bed bug hotspots, so check your room before unpacking anything.

Inspecting a hotel room so thoroughly might seem over the top, but it’s worth it if it means not bringing a bed bug headache home. Speaking of home, once you return from your trip, inspect all luggage thoroughly before bringing it inside, and run clothing through the dryer on high heat.

3. Prevent and Detect Bed Bugs with Simple, All-Natural Solutions

Many people aren’t aware that mattress covers are a crucial part of bed bug prevention. Mattress covers should be high-quality and made from thick, tight-weave material to keep bed bugs out.

A mattress cover discourages bed bugs from settling around your bed, but you can also purchase special traps that go under the feet of your bed or stick to the sides of your bed frame. These will help you determine if bed bugs are present and you need to take action.

tips to avoid getting bed bugs

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs if They’re Already in Your House

If bed bugs are already a problem inside your home, get professional assistance immediately. It only takes one egg-laying female to cause a full-blown infestation. Bed bugs can be easy to miss, but things can get out of hand when not unaddressed and why these tips to avoid getting bed bugs are important.

When looking for professional bed bug assistance, don’t just choose the cheapest option, or treatment may not work. Instead, look for a company that uses an array of tools, including inspection and assessment, steam treatments, heat treatments, and targeted chemical treatments.

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