Prevent Bed Bugs: Quick tips
It can be hard to get rid of bed bugs once they are in your home. The best way to avoid bed bugs is to regularly check for them. Follow these simple steps to help prevent bed bugs.
Learn the basics about bed bugs
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown bugs that can grow up to the size of an apple seed. They are attracted to people and animals, not dirt and grime. They bite people and animals to eat blood.
Bed bugs move from place to place in luggage, clothes, boxes, and used furniture–or through small cracks between apartments. They only come out at night, but leaving a light on won’t stop them from biting.
Bites from bed bugs cause large, itchy bumps on some people. Other people don’t have any reaction to the bites.
Use a flashlight to check for bed bugs
- Look for bed bugs hiding in the mattress, box spring, and bed frame.
- Check under the mattress and in the seams, folds, or edges of the mattress.
- Search other furniture near the bed, like night stands.
Look for signs of bed bugs
Signs of bed bugs include:
- Small, reddish spots on the sheets or mattress.
- Round, dark spots that look like ink.
- Tiny eggs, eggshells, and pale yellow skins.
Check for bed bugs when you travel
- Put your luggage on a luggage rack (away from the wall) or in a dry bathtub. Don’t put it on the bed.
- Follow the steps above to check for bed bugs.
- If you see signs of bed bugs, call the hotel desk or tell your host right away.
Take extra care with your luggage when you get home from a trip.
- Keep your travel clothes separate from other laundry. Wash them in hot water right away.
- Vacuum your luggage to get rid of any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride. Take the vacuum outside and empty the contents into a plastic bag that you can seal tightly. Throw this bag away in an outside garbage bin.
Act right away if you see a bed bug in your home
- Tell your landlord or call a pest control company as soon as you find bed bugs in your home.
- Use clear tape to attach the bug to a white piece of paper. Show it to a pest control expert to make sure it’s a bed bug.
- Don’t try to get rid of bed bugs yourself. You could make the problem worse by spreading them to other rooms in your home.