Bed bug infestations are on the rise in NYC and it is becoming more important that all residents learn bed bug prevention. Today we're looking at what strategies we can use to prevent bed bugs from getting in our homes, and more importantly, from climbing into bed with us.
Step 1: Catching Bed Bugs Before They Get In
If you notice bed bugs while you're staying the night somewhere, you can take action to prevent them from hitching a ride home with you. These detection tips can also help you take notice of bed bugs when you go somewhere during the day. Bed bugs have been found in many places outside of hotels and motels.
- Immature bed bug nymphs are the most likely form of bed bug you'll see. If you notice a tiny pale or tan-colored, six-legged bug with a red abdomen feeding on your skin, it is likely a bed bug. Use this as a warning to look for bed bug signs in the area and also to check your items for bed bugs.
- An infestation can begin with a batch of unattended eggs. If you do routine checks of your luggage, bags, pocketbooks, clothing, and other items, it can alert you to danger and help you keep these bugs from coming home with you. Check seams, creases, stitching, and pockets. These are where bed bugs prefer to hide.
- Bed bugs leave many signs in areas of infestation. If you see black streaks, black patches, tiny black speckles, shed insect skins, tiny white eggs, brown or tan stains, or the presence of tiny oval-shaped insects crawling around, you can take action.
Step 2: What to Do When You See Bed Bugs First
Okay. So you see bed bugs or notice signs of bed bugs, what do you do? There are two very helpful bed bug control methods you can use. If you see bed bugs in an item that can be put through a 30-minute dryer cycle, you can easily kill the bugs in the item. If you see a batch of eggs or bed bugs crawling around on an item, you can directly treat those bugs with rubbing alcohol and kill them. It becomes complicated when bed bugs are hiding inside a piece of furniture or an object that can't be put in the dryer. In these cases, it is helpful to reach out to a pest control provider and have the item treated before you bring it into your home.
Step 3: What to Do Just In Case You Didn't See Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are sneaky. If you don't see any signs of bed bugs when you stay somewhere for the night, it doesn't mean there aren't any bed bugs. Here are a few tips for protecting yourself from picking up bed bugs and bringing them home:
- Keep all your laundry items in a sealed plastic bag, such as a garbage bag with a bread tie around the top. Bed bugs are attracted to items that have been worn.
- Refrain from leaving clothing on the floor where bed bugs can crawl into them. Put them in the dresser drawer provided by the hotel or motel or keep them in your luggage.
- Wash and dry all clothing when you return from a trip.
- Inspect all luggage and bags when you return from a trip.
Step 4: Teach Others to Take Precautions
You aren't the only one who can bring bed bugs into your home. Share the information from this article with your family and friends. It could help them prevent an infestation in their homes and keep them from accidentally bringing bed bugs into your home. You could also send them to How to Prepare for the Return of the Bed Bug Season. It has some simple and helpful tips.
Step 5: What to Do When Bed Bugs Get In
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to exterminate. These insects have been living almost exclusively with humans since the beginning of recorded history. They're really good at avoiding our attempts to kill them. When bed bugs get into your home, it is best to reach out to a licensed pest professional with a track record for eliminating pest infestations.
If you live in NYC, remember that Parkway Pest Services is an industry-leading pest control provider and our bed bug response team has the equipment and expertise to completely rid your NYC home of bed bugs. We're standing by to help.