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How do I Prevent Bed Bugs?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 April 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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One of the most common ways that bed bugs enter the home is by hitching a ride on you or your belongings. The first step you must take to prevent bed bugs is to understand how they enter your home and where to look for them if they do. Remember that bed bugs often hide in places that are warm and confined, and they don't just live in the bedroom. If you take a trip and stay in a hotel or dormitory where bed bugs are most common, be sure to check your luggage, clothing, and other belongings for the bugs.

Bed bugs are small insects that can range in color from white to brown, and shades in between. At their largest, they grow to be about 1/4 inch (.6 cm) long and they are often found in the frames of beds, baseboards, drawers, and other tight, warm spaces. Bed bugs are very common in apartment buildings and dormitories, especially in buildings in which the turnover rate is high. If you visit any of these types of places, be sure to check your clothing, luggage, and belongings such as laptops and other electronics to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home.

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The best way to prevent bed bugs from entering your home is to avoid them altogether. That means checking out a hotel room before staying in it. When you arrive in a hotel room or dormitory, pull back the sheets from a bed and check for bed bugs. If there are none present, check the sheets and the mattress itself for tiny blood spots or dark black spots. Such spots may be an indication of bed bugs, and you should switch rooms or hotels immediately if you notice them. Check the baseboards, frame, and headboard as well to prevent bed bugs from entering your personal belongings.

If you do find bed bugs in your sheets or your clothing, isolate those sheets or clothing into a plastic bag so the bed bugs cannot spread. Put the plastic bag into the washing machine, dump the clothes, and remove the bag. Throw the bag away in a garbage can outside the home. Wash the clothing or sheets in the highest heat setting possible, and do the same with the dryer. If this does not get rid of the bed bugs, you may need to dispose of the clothing. Be sure to undress on a hard surface that is not carpeted to avoid dropping bed bugs into places they can hide and spread.

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