If you tell someone you’ve got bed bugs, it’s not uncommon for them to question your housekeeping skills – but unlike cockroaches or rodents, bed bugs don’t seek out dirty or unsanitary homes. In fact, the cleanliness of your home has nothing to do with getting bed bugs, and these troublesome parasites can happen to anyone.
As tricky as bed bugs are to prevent, here’s what Sacramento homeowners should know about how bed bug infestations typically start, what you can do to avoid picking them up in “hot spots,” and how to combat an existing bed bug infestation in your home.
How Do Bed Bug Infestations Start?
While most pests enter your home through cracks and crevices, bed bugs are unique because it’s often homeowners that bring them inside – even if you don’t know it. Bed bugs are parasitic hitchhikers, and infestations usually start because you travel somewhere with an existing bed bug problem.
Places where there’s a lot of people coming and going – like hotels, motels, airports, and public transportation – all tend to be hot spots for bed bugs. If you stay at a hotel where there’s already a bed bug infestation, these critters may hitch a ride on your clothing or your luggage and head back home with you.
Besides traveling, you also have the potential to bring these critters in because you’ve purchased used or secondhand furniture and appliances with bed bugs in them. That used couch you picked up at the thrift store could be housing a colony of bed bugs under the cushions. Even used appliances can sometimes have small colonies of bed bugs living in their cracks and crevices.
Despite their name, bed bugs are capable of surviving in more than just mattresses – and any items that provide them with a safe and secure hiding spot, like furniture, fridges, stoves, or even suitcases, can be a temporary home for bed bugs.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs
Given that you pick these critters up anywhere from the airport to hotels, bed bugs are difficult to prevent. However, there are a couple of tips you can implement to decrease the risk of traveling back with a bed bug infestation, such as:
Don’t keep your luggage or personal items on the floor in “hot spots.” If you’re traveling to a hotel or even just spending the day at the airport, keeping luggage and other personal items off the floor is important.
Use plastic containers for storage. If you’re still worried that bed bugs may find a way onto your personal belongings, try using a material like plastic for some of your storage. Smooth materials, like glass and plastic, are more difficult for bed bugs to crawl onto.
Check for signs of bed bugs. It’s always a good idea to manually check for bed bugs whenever you’re staying at a hotel, motel, or even a friend’s house. You can do this by looking for stains and rusty spots on sheets and pillowcases as well as checking underneath the mattress for live bugs.
Wash clothing and luggage after traveling. Even if you found your lodgings to be bug-free, you’ll still want to immediately wash clothing and luggage from your trip as soon as you get home. If a few stray bugs do follow you home, they won’t survive a cycle in the washing machine and dryer.
Double-check used furniture and appliances before you buy. Before bringing used furniture and appliances into your home, check these items for signs of bed bugs. This means inspecting cracks and crevices in furniture and checking underneath and inside appliances as well.
How To Combat A Bed Bug Infestation In Sacramento, CA
Unfortunately, even following every bed bug prevention tip, keeping these critters from your home is never 100%. The only foolproof way to combat bed bug infestations is with professional help from Neighborly Pest Management.
With years of experience serving the Sacramento area and a trustworthy reputation to back up our claims, we’re the trusted pest management service in Sacramento and surrounding areas. If you think you may have brought bed bugs into your home or you’re noticing signs of an infestation, there’s only one way to know for sure. Contact us at Neighborly Pest Management today for more information about how bed bug control services work and how we can help get rid of your infestation.