Bed Bugs: Protecting Yourself From The Monster Under The Bed
How Bed Bugs Get In Your Home – And How To Prevent Them
For a period of about 50 years, bed bugs were all wiped out in North America, and pest control companies were beginning to consider them a thing of the past. However, recent times have shown a reemergence in many areas – particularly New York and Ohio – and a promise of many, many more infestations to come.
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to completely eliminate. These little monsters have no natural habitat in the wild – they only exist in human dwellings, and only feed on humans. To continue their species, they've had to develop extraordinary survival skills.
The best way to protect yourself from bed bugs is to keep them out of your home in the first place. You can do this by checking for bed bugs at the points where their infestations spread. By taking precautions in these four key areas, you can help to reduce your chances of having a bedbug problem in your home.
1. Bed Bugs In Hotels, Motels, and Similar Locations
It's believed that bed bugs were brought back into the United States from overseas travelers, and were first seen in upscale hotels. Today, they can be found in almost any place that offers overnight lodging (hotels, motels, hostels, inns, B&Bs, resorts, etc.).
Protect yourself by inspecting the bed and sheets, and areas nearby before settling into your room. Telltale signs include dark, specked stains on cloth surfaces, a musty odor (often described as being similar to the smell of coriander), and bedbugs located along cracks and crevices. Keeping luggage in an airtight plastic tote, when possible, is also very effective at keeping bed bugs away from your things.
Since these pests like to hitchhike into your home through clothing, it's a good idea to wash all clothes right away in hot water when you get home. There are plastic bags in the marketplace that can be put directly in the laundry, dissolving away during the cycle.
2. Bed Bugs In Apartments & Rented Spaces
Residents of low-income housing, senior living centers, dorm rooms, and similar housing areas are at particularly high risk of moving into a bedbug-infested home. Bed bugs have been known to live for a year or more without a meal, and can survive in the nooks and crannies of a vacant room.
Did the previous residents move out because of an infestation? It doesn't hurt to ask your landlord – or better yet, get it in writing.
3. Used & Antique Furniture Infested With Bed Bugs
What do you do with your furniture after a bed bug infestation? Pest control experts all over North America are warning homeowners to be wary when buying furniture from estate sales, secondhand stores, and, especially, yard sales. Keep in mind that legitimate furniture sources can still become populated with stored along with infested furniture overnight.
If you choose to buy used furniture, be sure to check all nooks and crannies for a potential infestation before bringing it into your home.
4. “Brushing Shoulders” With Bedbugs In Public
Bedbugs are known to hitchhike in folds of clothing, shoes, purses, backpacks, suitcases, and similar areas. From here, they can be easily transferred to other individuals in public areas.
If you are living or traveling in an area with a high risk of bedbugs (such as New York City), it's a good idea to do a quick check of clothing and luggage before entering your home. Bedbugs have been found waiting in many high-traffic public areas, including theaters, libraries, taxis, buses, and even in changing tables in restrooms.
This article brought to you by Expediant – your source for pest control in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, and areas nearby. To schedule a pest inspection or to meet with a professional pest management expert, contact us by phone or e-mail today!