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How To Avoid Getting Bed Bugs

Steps You Can Take To Avoid Bringing Home Bed Bugs

When it comes to nuisance pests, few are more troublesome than bed bugs. Once they find their way inside your home, they proliferate and feed unapologetically, leaving a trail of blood-speckled sheets and itchy, irritated skin in their path. Getting rid of them can be a challenging and stressful affair, to make matters worse. Professional extermination services can cost anywhere between a few hundred to several thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the infestation.

Of course, the best way to save yourself from the destruction is to avoid picking them up in the first place. Though it may seem like they appear out of thin air, they are typically brought into your home from outdoor sources, such as luggage or furniture. According to experts, used furniture is primarily responsible for the rapid spreading of infestations. Fortunately, knowing how to limit your exposure is more than half the battle.

Avoiding Bed Bugs In Public Spaces

After near extinction, bed bugs reemerged in the United States in 2010. It is not uncommon for people to unknowingly spread stragglers in public spaces, including schools, hospitals, and office buildings. As avid hitchhikers, they eagerly latch onto backpacks, purses, clothing, and other unassuming personal items. Some of the most common places people pick up bed bugs include break rooms, storage areas, lobbies, and anywhere with shared furniture. If you are spending extended time where people congregate, prioritize protecting your belongings by storing them separately from others. You can also keep them in plastic storage bins or bags for an extra layer of protection.

Bed bugs are notoriously enduring and can survive three to five months without a blood meal, even persisting through winter temperatures. That said, they typically appear during the warmer months when travel is more common. Despite preventive measures taken by responsible management, hotels and motels tend to harbor bed bugs, serving as the origin point for many home infestations. When traveling, inspect your temporary lodgings before settling in, especially around the mattress and bed frame. Their favorite hangout spots include in and under the mattress and behind the headboard, which you should lift for a thorough inspection. Though they can hide in even the smallest nooks and crannies, and most are found within 15 feet of the bed. Additionally, you shouldn’t leave your suitcase on the floor. If a storage rack is unavailable, you can safely store your luggage on the bathroom counter or in the bathtub. As an added precaution, using a mattress cover to completely encapsulate the mattress adds an impenetrable layer of defense. 

Common Misconceptions About Bed Bugs

Most people associate bed bugs with uncleanliness; however, they do not discriminate based on environmental conditions. You can find them in all 50 states, and they do not differentiate between a 5-star establishment and an unkept hostel. Therefore, simply staying at luxury hotels is not an effective strategy. It is imperative to follow the same regiment as outlined above regardless of the setting. The upside of quality lodgings is that management often employs ongoing pest control programs and accommodate your needs should you come across an infested room.

Despite what some store-bought products claim, you cannot prevent them by pre-applying a chemical treatment. Over time, they have built up a tolerance to the most common main ingredient. In fact, relying on these products gives the pests ample time to multiply. More importantly, many products are toxic to humans and can cause more harm than good.

 

The best way to keep them from making their way into your home is to be extra diligent before bringing anything inside. Leaving luggage outside and exposed to the sun is a viable strategy for killing clingy strays. However, internal temperatures must exceed 120°F. One of the most popular pieces of advice people give regarding bed bugs is to launder potentially affected clothing as soon as possible. However, washing alone is not enough to kill them. Instead, you should prioritize drying with high heat. If you have clean, unused clothes from your travels, subject them to a spin in the dryer before putting them away.

Professional Extermination in Bakersfield, CA

Unfortunately, doing everything right to avoid them is not necessarily enough. Should you need a hand, give Natrix Pest Control a call. Our technicians have hands-on experience and are highly trained in bed bug extermination strategies. Contact us today to learn more about our expert pest control services for Bakersfield residents and the surrounding areas.