Prevention is key in effective bed bug control - both in reducing your chance of an infestation, and to prevent an infestation from reoccurring or getting worse. Read the following steps to ensure that you are doing everything you should to prevent bed bugs.
Step 1: Get familiar with what bedbugs and a bedbug infestation look like so you will know what to look for. Read Bed bug Identification and our Bed bug Inspection Guide.
Step 2: Inspect beds every week when you change the linens. Be sure to look around the folds and seams of the mattress and around the frame for live bugs, feces and cast skins. We recommend putting mattress encasements and box spring encasements on each bed to eliminate hiding spots and to make inspections easier.
Step 3: Be on the look out when staying in hotels or with family or friends to avoid transferring bedbugs back to your home. Do a quick bed inspection as outlined in our bed bug inspection guide before putting personal belongings in the room. Use our bed bug travel kits to protect you from bed bugs while traveling.
Step 4: Alternatively, always inspect after you have had overnight company. Friends and family members may not be aware that they have left behind these unwanted guests.
Step 5: Do not pick up furniture from the street. Be cautious when purchasing used furniture from individuals or from second hand stores. Always inspect furniture before bringing it into your home.
Step 6: If you notice bedbugs at any point you need to start treating immediately. A very small infestation can grow very quickly. We recommend using bed bug traps & monitors to help you keep an eye on things and to know when you have bed bugs. Read How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs to learn how to do your own bed bug treatment.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
- While traveling, make sure to inspect hotel rooms thoroughly. Bring a good flashlight and inspect every part of the room, including behind headboards, dressers, and other furniture items.
- Keep you baggage off the ground. If possible, store your suitcase up on a table or even in the bathroom area. Bed bugs are more likely to populate in dark areas with carpet or other kinds of soft material. Hotel bathrooms usually lack these kinds of fabric and are generally safer places to store your clothes and other belongings.
- Wrap your belongings. Before returning home from a trip, place all of your belongings in some kind of plastic bag, or container and immediately wash them when you get home. Just like how a good bed bug mattress cover will physically keep bed bugs from getting in, a good plastic bag or container will prevent bed bugs from getting out of your items before they can be disposed of.
- Bring one of our effective bed bug kits on your next trip. This kit contains everything you need to stay away from those little blood-suckers.
More information about these steps:
1) Know what a bed bug infestation looks like. It can be difficult to determine whether you have a bed bug infestation unless you know what you're looking for. You should not only have a good idea of what bed bugs look like, but also knowledge of several key indicators that an infestation exists. Some things to know:
- You will not likely see blood or red stains unless an engorged bed bug has been crushed. You are more likely to see dark or black stains or smears on a mattress or sheet from digested blood that has been excreted
- Bites, itchy spots on your skin, and sometimes blood may indicate bed bugs.
- As Bed Bugs develop from one stage of life to another, they leave behind tiny shed skins, or exoskeletons that may be identified with a magnifying glass in the folds and creases of the bed.
2) Know when you are most at risk for infestation. For an infestation to occur, bed bugs must be introduced into an un-infested environment from an infested one. As a result, bed bugs are most likely to be introduced upon returning from travel or when overnight guests are entertained. They can also hitch a ride into your home on items purchased second-hand, or furniture and bedding that is delivered to your home. Immediately after any of these events have taken place would be the ideal time to inspect for live bed bugs and other signs of infestation. Also be on the lookout for these signs several weeks following travel.
3) Use a Bed Bug Encasements/ Mattress Cover. Early detection is the most important factor to be successful at bed bug control. One way to protect yourself and make detection easier is to use a bed bug mattress cover that has been specifically designed for bed bugs. Encasing the mattress and box springs prevents an infestation from growing by denying bed bugs access to the hard-to-treat inner areas. This all important function of bed bug mattress covers serves a dual-purpose:
- Effective Prevention. You will easily be able to spot and remove new clusters of bed bugs on the smooth cover, thus preventing new infestations.
Protecta-Bed Bed Bug Mattress cover For bed bug prevention and control, an ordinary mattress cover will not suffice. Protect-A- Bed BugLock® Encasements are backed by scientific data for proven efficacy and have shown through rigorous scientific tests to be 100% escape-proof and bite-proof.
- Effective Control. Any existing bed bugs that happen to be inside the mattress cover at the time of encasement are now entombed and will eventually die.
4) Act Immediately. Bed Bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of. If you detect or suspect infestation, call a professional pest control operator immediately so they can inspect your home and help you determine where to focus control efforts.
Bed Bug FAQ
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs (in 5 steps)
How To Avoid Hotel Bed Bugs
Pesticide-Free Bed Bug Control
Apartment Bed Bug Control