7 tips to prevent bed bugs

Photo courtesy of Eric Erikson

Photo courtesy of Eric Erikson

Bed bugs don’t wait for an invitation – they barge in on their own. However, you can prevent them from making an unwanted entrance by following these eight steps:

1. Avoid buying secondhand furniture. If there is a piece that you really, really want, make sure to be very detailed in inspecting it. When you get it home, you should not bring it in the house until you use some method of cleaner or sanitizer on it. If you are considering heat, be careful that the 120-degree temperature won’t melt your piece of furniture. There are many good, nontoxic products out there to spray on the furniture before you bring it in the house.

2. Make sure to take any secondhand clothes you buy straight to the washer and dryer. If the clothing cannot be put in a high-heat dryer for at least 60 minutes, you may want to get it dry cleaned. Not taking these precautions can cause you a lot of money down the road.

3. As you are washing your bed linens, make sure to take the time to inspect your bed for bed bugs, fecal matter or shed skin from bed bugs. Regular washing and high-heat drying for at least 60 minutes is good prevention. If there are any bed bugs (eggs, nymphs, adults) in or on those bed linens, rest assured they are toast.

4. It is always a good idea to make the investment and buy a good mattress cover. This will help you make your inspection process easier each time you wash the bed linens. Mattress covers have several less hiding places for bed bugs.

5. If you are taking preventive steps to not get bed bugs, avoid mixing pesticides or formulas that you do not know about. I have seen more and more cases lately of people setting their bed on fire or house on fire because they didn’t read a label or they found a home remedy on the Internet.

If you do not know what you are doing, it is always a good idea to call a pest control operator. If you are dead-set on doing it yourself, there are some really good products out there that have been scientifically tested and approved for bed bugs.

6. Vacuum regularly. When vacuuming, it is important to vacuum the baseboards and areas that have cracks and crevices like headboards and footboards.

7. If you have visitors in town, when they leave take the same precautions explained above.

Desert Green Pest Management is located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. As of April 6, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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