As much as the pest is tiny enough to hide, there are easy ways to prevent bed bugs from entering your home and launching a biting attack. The bloodsuckers have been infesting thousands of homes here in the U.S. and it’s always been a puzzle to know how to eradicate the pest population. Resistance, failed DIYs, and lack of knowledge about diagnosing an infestation give households and the economy a damaging kick.
This results in millions of losses as hotels and homes alike have to shell out a substantial amount of money to change mattresses, sheets, and pay for the extermination services. Of all the pests that may infect a property, bed bugs are one of the hardest to get rid of, not to mention the difficulty of detecting the onset of their presence.
But you can spare yourself from all these if you know a few tested solutions to bar these tiny critters from penetrating your living space. Here are some that I personally swear by:
1. Throw your suitcases away
If you’re always traveling like me or you happen to have long trips on the bus daily, I suggest that you switch from suitcases to duffel bags. That is if the occasion suits the switch. You can toss your duffel bags straight to the washing machine after use. This prevents the spread of bed bugs on your home which you possible acquired while riding a train, taxi, or bus.
In terms of storing your trusty suitcases, it’s preferable to place it in the attic instead of sliding it under your bed. Wrap it with plastic first to avoid the bugs from entering or getting off from your luggage.
2. Have second thoughts about hand-me-downs
Anything used by somebody always poses the risk of bed bugs. Clothes, furniture, and carpets have the highest risk factor when it comes to infestation. If you’re planning to buy or accept secondhand types, you should think twice or not invest in it at all as one of the easy ways to prevent bed bugs.
A new mattress may cost about $250 to $5,000 depending on the size. The price of secondhand ones could be half such cost. But if you come to think of it, bed bug extermination will cost you approximately $1,250 in the process which is way expensive than getting a brand new bed.
3. Cover your cot
Bed bugs have the ability to burrow themselves deep in the seams of the mattresses and the box spring. This is the reason why the bugs can keep biting you even if you already set interceptors on the feet of your bed. It seems like a stalemate but there’s one good trick that you can do to dodge those bites.
Bed encasements are selling like hotcakes for one major reason. It blocks the bugs from entering or escaping your mattress. They can still bite if you don’t have interceptors set up but they will stand no chance of harboring on your bed.
4. Heat it up or freeze it
If you’d a previous experience with a bed bug infestation, you might probably know that temperature extremes are the enemy of the pest. Regularly using steam cleaners on your bed, sofa, couch, or stuffed chairs will be the easy ways to prevent bed bugs. The steam that machine produces seeps into the seams of the mattress and kill the possibly surviving pest.
Another way that you can utilize is freezing small items. The likes of purses, dyed pants, and electronic items would accumulate damage if heated numerous times. You can place these items in ziplock bags and frozen at 0F for at least four days.
5. Don’t let your guard down
Even if you already exterminated the population of the pest in your house, you shouldn’t let your guard down. It’s for sure that pesticides have residual effects but only the environmental factors know how long it would last. Place traps like ClimbUp Interceptors on the feet of your bed and other pieces of furniture where the pest could possibly hide. This comes in 12 pieces per pack so you can deploy it in multiple spots in your household.
You can also ask the exterminators of the possible home agents that you can apply regularly to ward off the brewing of another infestation and to serve as easy ways to prevent bed bugs.
6. Leave some space
Before setting up any interceptor, it’s best to take a look at the edges of your bed or furniture. Don’t let it have contact with the wall or other pieces of furniture that may serve as the path of the pest to your cot. Leave at least an inch of space between the wall and surrounding equipment to ensure that no bugs can evade the interceptors.
If some of the pieces of furniture at home are fixed, you can apply a line of diatomaceous dust to serve as a barrier to your sleeping area.
7. Set up your shield
No matter how you set up traps, the adjacent apartment could bring in a massive infestation. Bed bugs can infect a whole floor of a building, and in worse cases, multiple storeys. What you can do here is to set up barriers that will prevent the critters from crawling into your home. Remember that it only takes one female, pregnant bug to start a nightmare of bites and mattress damage.
On the edge where the floor meets the wall, create a line of insect-killing dust that will exterminate the pest once they step on it. Make sure that you use a household friendly dust as one of the easy ways to prevent bed bugs.
8. Block the holes
Sealing the gaps is an important addition to setting up bed bug barriers. Bed bugs are insanely tiny and their flat bodies allow them to navigate through small cracks without effort. If you’re living in an apartment building, make sure to caulk all the gaps in the walls and floors that can be the pathway of the bugs to your home.
Don’t miss the baseboards as these are the trickiest part. Bed bugs can use it as their path especially if the edge of your carpet is tucked into it. After the gaps are sealed, you can use a bulb dust applicator to place a line of diatomaceous earth on the edges.
9. Be watchful of your guests
It’s impossible to inspect every possible stuff your guests would bring in your house. You have to remember that bed bugs can cling to clothes of the host and drop off once they get in contact with another surface, say your sofa or bed. If you had guests, you should be watchful for the possible signs that the bugs had penetrated your space. From there, you can employ these easy ways to prevent bed bugs.
If you’re staying in someone else’s house, you should practice the same drill. Never lay immediately in your bed when you arrive home. Instead, go straight to the laundry area and wash your clothes.
10. Just do the laundry
If you’re serious about getting your house free from bed bugs, start picking the pieces of clothes on the floor and wash it. This littering fabric is the best hitch that the bed bugs could have to navigate your home. With that, you should do the laundry regularly, no matter how lazy the idea would be. Who would want to deal with a whole mountain of clothes at the end of the month? Trust me, skip one Netflix movie and you’re going to thank me later.
You can add a few drops of essential oil to your laundering to give your clothes the bed bug-repelling effect. It would also smell nicer compared to the commercial fabric conditioners.
11. Make use of that vacuum
Vacuuming is probably one of the easy ways to prevent bed bugs from spreading into your home. It will suck the bed bugs that are on the surface level of the material. This is an effective method that you can use after having guests or if you think that there are a few bugs starting to brew a larger colony.
It’s best to get a HEPA vacuum cleaner for this method. This can suck matter with a diameter of up to 0.3 microns. Households who have allergy issues would benefit a lot from this equipment. One of the top choices for households is the VonHaus Cordless HEPA Vacuum Cleaner so you might want to check it out.
12. Treat ‘em right
One of the foolproof means of evading a possible bed bug infestation is having your house treated beforehand. You can contact an exterminator to install bed bug barriers to treat your bed with insect repellents to discourage the bugs from using it as a harborage.
There are many pesticides like IGRs, neonicotinoids, pyrethrins, and more which you can ask about during the treatment. This process is like preparing to kill the critters even before they crawl into your home.
13. Keep a hawkeye
The first step to prevention is recognizing that there is a problem. Even if you already employed the listed methods, it’s still best to keep your close watch on the signs of an infestation. If you observe any potential symptom, you should act fast for the eradication.
If you’re looking for easy ways to prevent bed bugs, this post might already be the answer. Dodging these tiny bloodsuckers is quite a task but if you perform preventive steps just in time, you’ll have added peace of mind. Don’t let the bugs bite!
Do you find this post helpful to bed bug proof your house? Do you agree with some of these points? Let us know!