Preventing Bed Bug Infestations

// January 11th, 2011 // Household Hints

As you might have heard, bedbugs are making a comeback in the United States in a big way. So far the infestations are mainly found in big cities where there is a large densely packed population, but due to the hearty nature of the insect, they travel exceedingly well. Once they have established a foothold in the home it is very difficult to eradicate them, so we have a few tips on how to keep them from setting up shop.

Keep the floor area free from trash and clutter. Most people don’t just leave trash laying around but bedbugs don’t live in open areas so the fewer things sitting on the floor or around baseboards the better.

Vacuum regularly and thoroughly. Frequently even if the area doesn’t look particularly dirty it will not hurt to go over it with the vacuum.

Make sure to get underneath the bed and to pick up items that sit on the floor such as lamps, waste baskets, laundry or anything else that they can get under that they may use for shelter. Also vacuum your upholstery making sure to get all sides of the cushions and paying special attention to the seams as this is the main place bedbugs hide.

Wash all laundry on the highest temperature recommended for the fabric (heat is the best way to kill bedbugs on a regular basis). Always launder your sheets and bedding on HOT every time you wash them. Every time you have a houseguest you have an opportunity to have these pests introduced to your house so you may want to wash any bedding or towels they may use in the hot cycle just to be safe. If you have kids that spend the night away from home, make sure to wash their clothes on HOT when they get back.

Seal cracks and crevices around walls, baseboards and doors or windows even if they don’t lead to the outdoors. Any small space where they can hide themselves is a place they can live for a very long time. Sealing all cracks with caulk or putty you will be eliminating all of these possible harbors for them.

If you do find bedbugs in your house and it is not a major infestation you may be able to kill them with a pesticide from the local home improvement store. Check the label and make sure that it specifies Bedbugs in particular as many of the products out there are not tested on them. If you have a major infestation you almost certainly will have to call and exterminator and even then they may have t o come back multiple times to get them all so it’s best to try and follow these tips and avoid getting bedbugs in the first place.

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