Prevention is the best way to avoid a major bedbug problem. These insects are highly invasive and once they set up camp in your home, getting rid of them will prove both costly and time-consuming. Thus, any effort that you make to avoid an infestation is going to be well worth the investment of money and time.
Check Your Luggage
When traveling out of town, there is always the likelihood of bringing bed bugs back home with you. These insects might be present at the hotel or motel that you have lodged in, or they could be present on the plane or train that you take for your travels. Checking your luggage before bringing it into the door is therefore essential. You should look for small, reddish-brown insects with flat bodies throughout the interior of your bags, particularly around the seams. These bugs are incredible hiders and this makes it important unzip suitcase liners when possible and check in these enclosed areas as well.
The Greenhouse Effect
One simple way to avoid bringing bed bugs into your home is by leaving your luggage in the car. These insects succumb to high temperatures and most will die off when exposed to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Creating the greenhouse effect in your vehicle by sealing up all of the windows and parking your car in the sun will eliminate any unwanted travelers that have stowed away in your gear. You can leave your luggage in a hot, sealed car for one to two hours after your trip in order to make sure that no living insects are brought into your home.
During the cold and overcast months of winter, this prevention strategy will be much less effective. Instead, you will have to pull your items out, inspect them individually and then clean all large suitcases with a vacuum cleaner that has a hose attachment. You can even brush down the lining of your suitcase with a stiff brush to ensure that no insects are hiding in places that are difficult to reach or see.
Get Your Items Brand New
When there are widespread problems with bedbugs in any region, shopping at a thrift store may not be worth the savings. Secondhand furnishings and clothing can and often do play host to bedbugs, causing unsuspecting consumers to bring troublesome infestations home with them. It is far better to avoid these establishments and shop for items brand new. If purchasing clothes from thrift stores, always make sure to wash your purchases right away and to dry these at high temperatures until they are hot to the touch.
Protect Your Mattresses
There are a number of affordable mattress covers that consumers can purchase to prevent home infestations. The texture of these makes it impossible for bedbugs to set up camp in sleeping areas. These covers are essential for large families living in cramped quarters and households that routinely host overnight guests. Crowded living spaces and lots of visitors increase the likelihood of bedbug exposure.
It is important to note that any warm-blooded animal can attract bed bugs and thus, if you have raccoon or bats living in the attic, you want to get these problems addressed by licensed professionals right away. It is also a good idea to routinely check the beds and bedding of your own household pets for signs of bedbugs. As soon as a bed bug problem is suspected or identified, make sure to implement a timely treatment so that these insects do not spread to other areas of your home.