Bed bugs are something that no one wants to have in their home. Not only are they a hazard, but they can also be very difficult to get rid of. Worst of all, you can pick up bed bugs from almost anywhere, including work, the gym, a hotel, from a neighbor, or even from a bus ride.
If hearing that has gotten your skin crawling, here is what you need to know to help keep these bad bugs out of your home.
How to Keep Your Home Free of Bed Bugs
The most commonly known bed bugs are the ones that live in mattresses, particularly in the seams of box springs. However, bed bugs can also get into your furniture, your walls, and your carpet. The ones that spread out around your home can be hard to kill and harder still to get rid of 100%.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent these bugs from spreading.
1. Bag Up Your Clothes
When you get home from work, you probably change your clothes and throw your dirty ones into a plastic basket or simply on the floor. However, while this may make changing clothes quicker and easier, if you've brought home unwanted visitors, this is also an easy way for them to spread.
Instead, when you change your clothes, bag them up and seal the bag until you're ready to wash them. This will prevent any bugs from being able to get out and when you go to wash them just dump the contents in the washer. In the washer, the water and heat will kill any bugs that might have been hitching a ride.
2. Use Sprays to Keep Them At Bay
There are a variety of sprays that have been proven to help get rid of bed bug problems. One of the easiest to use is tea tree oil. On contact, tea tree oil will kill bed bugs and they will avoid any area sprayed with it. Keep in mind, that this oil is also toxic to many pets, so use it with caution if you have any furry pals in your home.
Along with this oil, DEET is also effective for repelling bed bugs, as are some specially formulated sprays created to ward away and kill bed bugs. These sprays usually contain a fungal biopesticide, which can be highly effective.
Diatomaceous earth can also be used as a natural repellant. Because it is made up of ground stone, it can scratch the outer shells of the bugs, causing them to dry out and die.
3. Don't Keep Your Luggage on the Ground
When traveling, don't keep your luggage on the ground, as it is the perfect place for bed bugs to hide. Along with keeping your luggage elevated, you should also keep it zipped completely when you're not using it. You could even spray it with a light mist of tea tree oil to help ward away any bed bugs that might be curious about any easy-to-access side pockets.
4. Avoid Public Transport When You Can
When possible, try to avoid using public transport, as picking up bed bugs is surprisingly common this way.
If you have to take public transport, try to avoid sitting in the fabric seats if possible. You should also never place your bags on the seats as bed bugs can climb aboard and hitch a ride. Similarly, don't put your coats, gloves, or scarves down where bugs can reach them.
If you are on public transit and need to sit in a fabric seat, bag up your clothes as described above to lower your chances of bringing any bugs into your home.
5. Encase Your Mattress
Mattresses are the preferred environment for bed bugs, hence the name. However, mattress encasements can help keep them from taking up residence there, and it can keep any bed bugs that are already there from being able to get out and bite you.
While it can take a while for existing bugs to die, they won't be able to get at you while the encasement is in place, and you can sleep soundly without worrying about getting bitten.
Keeping the Bugs At Bay
Even hearing the word 'bed bug' can make you itchy, and no one wants to deal with the real-life experience of having these pests in their home. Thankfully, there are easy ways to help protect your home and make it harder for big bugs to get in or stick around.
However, if you do bring home bed bugs, it's always a good idea to call a professional pest control company to help get them out. This way, you have a better chance of ridding your home of all unwanted guests without leaving any stragglers.
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