First of all….getting Bed Bugs is not unlikely. 1/5 of us will get Bed Bugs at some point! It does not matter if you are messy or clean…rich or poor…..Bed Bugs are an equal opportunity pest. And an awful pest at that. They live from feeding on your blood as your sleep!
This page is a very basic overview of some simple things you can do to help prevent Bed Bugs from taking root in your home. Please note…the key word in the previous line…is “help prevent”. Those of you without an affinity towards statistics will appreciate the notion of “randomness”…if you don’t understand statistics…the nature of “randomness” means that you want to do things that will decrease the “odds” of Bed Bugs getting you. There is nothing that will guarantee a Bed Bug free home, but with some simple steps you can greatly decrease the possibility of your home being infested.
Before we being, some Important Bed Bug Facts that are important in setting up your prevention:
- They start virtually invisible and able to go through almost anything (ie. such as a closed Ziploc bag or perfectly sealed envelope). There are some surfaces they can’t crawl up.
- Heat over 49C (120F) (steamer or hot dryer can do this) and cold of -18C (0F) over 4 days (test with a thermometer in your freezer to ensure you have this temp).
- They can live up to 3 to 5 months at Room Temperature with no blood food.
- Bed Bugs can be aggressive in trying to get your blood. They can move up to 5 feet per minute. The more hungry (not able to get your blood) they are, they will “hunt” you down day or night. If they do not get their night feeding, they will find you.
- They like fabric (more a backpack variation and but not as much your clothes) and wood. Do not like plastic and metal as much. The chances of them being on your clothes is slim. If you got them in a hotel, it was likely your luggage or hand bag etc that they traveled on. They prefer a more “solid” surface.
- They find you via your body heat, CO2 and body odor. But they don’t like you. They only stay on you or the clothes you are wearing as long as they need to, to get your blood and get away from you. You are too hot for them.
- They cannot jump or fly. They have to crawl to get where they want to go. Almost all surfaces they can crawl up except extremely polished plastic and metal.
- Some people have no reaction (Zero!!! Nothing) to Bed Bugs. You may not be a good tester for bugs.
- They like humans much more than pets. They don’t like hair or fur. But if they get hungry enough, will go after your pet.
- Some poisons can kill them and control them. There are spray liquid and powder versions. Sticky things DO NOT work as a rule.
So…what can you do?
The following are some basic but essential things to do to protect your home from Bed Bugs.
- It is essential to clean up clutter in your home. Clutter provides them with necessary cover to hide from you and to find places to nest.
- Place a Beg Bug blocker under the legs (or anything from your bed touching the floor) of your bed. Consider other key furniture as well.
- Use Bed Bug proof pillow, mattress and box spring covers.
- Use white sheets on your bed. Wash and dry your bedding (ideally all of it once per week). White sheets will allow you to see them and/or their waste.
- Move your bed away from the wall and have nothing hanging over the bed or touching it. A Bed Bug can very easily climb up a cord.
- Watch for objects coming onto the bed. The only thing going in and out of your bed is you (ie clothing from the floor, purse, not a TV remote unless dealt with correctly).
- Vacuum and clean your floor and baseboards regularly. Always remove your Vacuum bag or empty your Vacuum after use into the toilet or into a tied bag (twist it 20 times or more and tie off – ideally out of the home as quick as possible).
- Every once a while spray Bed Bug poisons along your bedroom walls.
The information pertaining to beds above will apply to anywhere you “spend a lot time”. For example, a living room or desk chair. Bed Bugs can move very fast, up to 5 feet per minute! If they don’t get their necessary blood food from you in your bed they will move to where else you go. After a few days, they will get desperate and chase you down anywhere.
Now this is going to be an awful thought…but ideally if you ever discovered them, it is best to stay where they are!!! This way you do not spread them around your home.
Yikes!! You already have Bed Bugs! Click this link to see a step-by-step guide to dealing with Bed Bugs.
Step By Step Guide To Getting Rid of Bed Bugs