How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting Into Your Home
Bed bugs have become a growing concern within the Windsor-Essex County region. Many people contact us regarding their issues with bed bugs and how once treated, they can be prevented. Fortunately, there are many helpful preventative measures that we offer our customers. The first thing to understand is that bed bugs can get into your home on family or visitor’s clothing, used furniture, travel bags, boxes, and even on your shoes.
However, there are some ways to reduce the chances of a bed bug infestation. Here are some tips to help you prevent bed bugs from infesting your home.
- Before bringing used furniture into your home, check for signs of bed bugs as they can survive without food for up to an entire year!
- Put a protective cover on your mattress and box spring
- Get a light coloured mattress cover so that you can easily identify any spots
- Be extra careful if you use shared laundry services and facilities
- Vacuum your home frequently as bed bugs can dwell in corners of ou.r homes that we don’t pay much attention to.
- Clean your bedding often. We highly recommend changing your sheets on a weekly basis and routinely check your mattress for any stains, droppings, or pests.
- If you travel often: don’t make the mistake of accidentally sleeping on a bed bug-infested mattress. Check the bedding down to the mattress before you get too comfortable. Avoid putting your luggage on the bed. Consider putting your suitcase on a luggage rack that has been moved away from the wall or in a dry bathtub. Bring a flashlight and use it to check for signs of bed bugs. Along with the bedding, check the edges and seams of the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Check furniture near the bed, such as the nightstands. You can check out our S.L.E.E.P Blog post for a great memory tip.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
Adult bed bugs:
- Are about 3/16 to 1/4 inch long (similar to the size of an apple seed)
- Often have a musty odor
- If they haven’t fed recently, are brown with a flat, oval-shaped body
- If they have fed recently, have a reddish-brown color and a rounder, balloon-like body
Young bed bugs (nymphs):
- Are a translucent yellowish-white color
- If they haven’t fed recently, are almost impossible to see with your naked eye
Where to Find Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not a large pest and can be found in small hiding spots. We recommend that if you can fit a credit card in a crack, then there’s enough room for a bed bug.
Bed bugs will commonly hide around your bed:
- On the mattress and box spring in crevices created by seams, tags, corner caps, and piping
- In cracks in the headboard and bed frame
If you have a heavy infestation, they can be found away from the bed:
- In the seams and between cushions in chairs and couches
- In the folds of curtains
- Under wall hangings
- At the junction of the wall and the ceiling
- Under loose wallpaper
- In drawer joints
- In electrical outlets
Bed bugs will travel up to 20 feet from hiding places to feed.
If you have any questions regarding bed bugs or think you may have an infestation, contact us and we will be glad to help.