By: Jasna Aleksandrova
If you are a frequent traveler or are simply interested in bed bug prevention, there are a few measures that you can take to help prevent a bed bug infestation. Knowledge is your first line of defense when it comes to bed bugs. They can travel into your home on virtually anything: luggage, clothing, bags, paintings, furniture etc.
A place to start prevention is in the bedrooms in your home. We recommend that you use mattress covers that completely encase the mattresses. This creates a barrier which can prevent the bugs from infesting the mattresses or escaping if they are already there. Make sure to ask the store for a product that includes bed bug protection.
You can also use bed bug interceptors under the legs of your beds. This is a good way see if you have a bed bug infestation, too. These products have wells that trap bed bugs as they try to climb to and from your bed. Even though they are mainly found around beds, because that is where their food source is (you), they are mobile, living creatures and do not just stay in one place. If you are a frequent traveler, we also recommend that you keep these interceptors handy for hotel stays. Many people use them under the legs of luggage racks in hotels to prevent bed bugs from getting to their belongings when away from home. If you see a bed bug in a place that you are staying, we recommend that you use common sense, notify the management immediately, inspect all of your belongings (including the clothes on your body), and request a different room (or change hotels).
Traveling creates the biggest risk when it comes to bed bugs infestations, so it is very important to pack and unpack carefully, inspecting any items that could easily transport the little pests. Another way to prevent a bed bug infestation in your home is to be careful when buying furniture and mattresses, especially if they are used or second-hand. In addition, don’t limit your prevention to these items because bed bugs can actually be found in other items for such as electronics or even clothes. They have even been found in cars, vans and trucks.
Many exterminators actually advise against using insecticides or pesticides to prevent bed bug infestations in homes. Most of the products that are available to consumers are not effective enough to warrant the risk that they pose to the health of you and your family.
If you ever feel that items in your home have been exposed to bed bugs, you should carefully inspect them, or depending from the size and material, you can put them in plastic bags and deep freeze them to make sure that they are safe (for more information, see our blog Freezing Bed Bugs). There are actually a variety of other solutions which we talk about in various blogs – http://www.pestout.com/category/bedbugs/
If you are concerned that your home has already been exposed to bed bugs, the safest and most practical solution is to contact a pest control professional that can inspect your house and treat it with safe and effective solutions.