Bed bugs have been showing up in the most unexpected places lately. From high-end luxury resorts to 5-star hotels to cruise ships, these unwanted passengers have been hitching rides around the world. If you happen to bring back a few of these creepy crawlies from your own vacation getaway, you need to take action right away.
Bed bugs are known for their painful bites, but they are also renowned for their reproductive abilities. A single pair of bed bugs can lay thousands of eggs in a disconcertingly short period of time. If you fail to act quickly, you could end up with a bed – and a house – full of these bloodsucking creatures. Here are some tips you can use to keep bed bugs out of your bedroom – and out of your life.
- Remove extraneous items from the site of the suspected infestation. Getting rid of clutter will make bed bugs easier to spot.
- Use caution when relocating items from the bedroom and other bedbug-infested areas. You could inadvertently spread the bed bugs.
- Clean blankets, pillowcases, stuffed animals and toys with a vacuum cleaner to remove bed bugs and eggs. Store those items in a sealed plastic bag for several days to make sure all the bed bugs are killed.
- Look for bedbug hiding spots in bed frames, behind chairs and other out of the way spots. You may even need to dismantle the bed frame to get rid of all the hidden bed bugs.
- Suck up any bed bugs and eggs you see with a vacuum cleaner. Seal the vacuum cleaner bag promptly and discard it.
- Remove and carefully inspect sofa cushions and vacuum them thoroughly. Inspect the remainder of the sofa and give it a good cleaning as well. Unzip the cushion covers and vacuum the interior as well.
- Remove the drawers from your desk and dresser if an infestation is suspected there. Vacuum the interior of the desk and dresser to remove any hidden eggs.
- Pull the mattress off and stand the box spring against the wall. Shine a flashlight through the bottom of the box spring to look for bed bugs. Check for tears in the mattress and box spring – these tears are perfect hiding spots for bed bugs.
- Encase the entire mattress and/or box spring to keep bed bugs trapped and kill them off. You can buy these special encasements at mattress warehouses, furniture store and on the Internet.
- Check for holes and cracks where bed bugs could enter and exit your home. Use caulking and other sealants to fill those holes. This will help prevent not only bed bugs but other pests as well from gaining entrance to your home.
- Launder bedbug-infested clothing in hot water. The water should be heated to a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs.
- Use a stiff-bristled brush to dislodge any eggs from infested surfaces. Vacuum thoroughly when you are done and dispose of the cleaner bag right away.
- Place bedbug trays around the house and check them frequently. Keep replacing the traps until all signs of the infestation are gone.
Bed bugs are not confined to fleabag hotels and run-down apartments anymore. These days bed bugs can show up just about anywhere, from the simplest dwelling to a five-star hotel. Even if you just suspect a bedbug infestation, it is important to act quickly, before the problem has a chance to spread and engulf your home.