Ridding Your Home of Insects

Do's And Don'ts Of Preventing A Bed Bug Problem In A City Filled With The Buggers

by Ted Miller

You saw it on the news, you heard it on the radio, and there have been warnings from the school—bed bugs have taken over your city, and you are terrified. Here are a few do's and don'ts to remember if you are concerned about your home. 

Do: Be careful about bringing home secondhand furniture. 

Secondhand furniture is by far one of the biggest reasons people inadvertently get bed bugs in their home, and it is sometimes hard to avoid. Bed bugs can hang out dormant in a mattress for months, they can live in a sofa that looks like it is brand new, and they can shimmy their way into the crevices of a wooden dresser without being noticeable. Before bringing home secondhand furnishings, consider having it checked out by a pro or treated for pests by a pest control agent just in case. 

Don't: Allow traveling guests to bring their luggage indoors. 

You could just tell every traveling visitor to stay at a hotel, but this may be a little rude and inhospitable. Instead, kindly let guests know that you would prefer if they left their luggage in their vehicles if they are traveling from a hotel. Just make sure you tell the guests that you have concerns about getting bed bugs so they are understanding of why you are asking. 

Do: Check your furniture on a regular basis. 

Periodically, do a thorough examination of your furnishings, especially your sofa, recliners, mattresses, and other soft-surface pieces. A few ways to check for bed bugs include: 

  • Pulling back folds in sofa upholstery and checking for signs of eggs or bugs
  • Using a flashlight to peer inside of the box spring 
  • Using a magnifying glass and a light to examine the wooden frame of a recliner

Don't: Neglect the effectiveness of preventative measures. 

Preventative measures for bed bug protection do exist. For example, you can have a pest control agent help you with placing bed bug traps around the legs of the bed, invest in zippered mattress covers, and use deterrents like tea tree oil spray to discourage bed bugs from hanging around. 

Do: Keep your home as clutter-free as possible. 

The more clutter you have in the house, the easier it is to have bed bugs and not even realize you have a problem. Plus, if you do have the critters roaming through your home, lots of clutter will make them far harder to eradicate even with professional bed bug treatment.