There is a common misconception that bed bug infestations only happen to people with dirty homes. When talking about how to keep bed bugs out, it is important to begin by dispelling this myth. Not only are bed bugs not going to target a dirty home, but there is nothing about a home that will attract bed bugs. These insects don't live in your yard or explore the exterior of your home looking for tiny cracks. They don't get inside and look around to see if it is a suitable place to live, like many of the other bugs in San Diego County.
Bed bugs are hitchhiking pests. They're carried into your home. When these insects get inside, they won't leave if the environment isn't suitable. They'll make the best of whatever conditions they find. These are indoor insects. They don't like it outside. So, bed bug prevention is all about learning to keep bed bugs from hitching a ride into your home. Here's how it works.
The first way to prevent an infestation is to be aware of your surroundings. Every time you, or someone else in your home, goes out of the home, bed bugs can be picked up. You can prevent this by learning what signs to look for and by sharing these warning signs with others:
- If bed bugs are infesting a bed, couch, chair, or some other furniture item, you're likely to see black fecal stains.
- As bed bugs develop, they shed their skins. You may find these skins in compressed areas and creases. When examining a mattress or box spring, we recommend using a debit card to drag through the seams.
- Bed bugs excrete blood. This can cause stains on pillowcases, sheets, upholstery, and fabrics.
- A flashlight app on your phone can help you stop bed bugs. If you go to a movie theater or some other dark public venue, your light can help you detect bed bugs, black fecal spotting, shed skins, and dried brown bloodstains. You can also use your flashlight to look in crevices and recesses where bed bugs like to hide.
When you detect bed bugs, there are a few things you can do in response. If you're in a cab, bus, movie theater, or some other location that has bed bugs, the first step is to leave. If you find bed bugs in a hotel or motel room, it is okay to stay in the hotel or motel, just switch rooms. Bed bugs aren't usually a widespread problem in businesses where people spend the night. If you're moved to a room that is not adjacent, you should be fine. Be sure to request something complementary for your inconvenience. When you get to the new room, be sure to do a quick inspection to make sure there are no warning signs.
There are things you can do that will make it more difficult for bed bugs to get into your home, even if you don't see bed bugs while you're away from home.
- Keep your laundry in sealed plastic bags. Bed bugs are attracted to the scent of clothing that has touched your skin.
- When you return from staying somewhere, run all of your clothing through the wash, particularly a 30-minute dryer cycle. Heat kills bed bugs in all stages of development. If you have bugs or bed bug eggs in your clothing, this will stop them from turning into an infestation.
- Refrain from putting bags or clothing near the bags and clothing of others. Bed bugs can move between items that are touching.
- Refrain from putting bags or clothing inside lockers with the items of other people. Bed bugs can move around under the cover of darkness, they don't need to wait until it is nighttime.
- Inspect used furniture. When you purchase something used, it is always good to do a detailed inspection. Bed bugs can bed in mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture, hardwood furniture that has recesses, electronics, pianos, and more. If an object has a void within, bed bugs could be inside.
If Bed Bugs Find Their Way Into Your Home
A bed bug nymph can be as small as 1mm, and a bed bug egg is only slightly larger. It is easy to miss bed bugs, even when they're right in front of you. If bed bugs find their way into your San Diego County home, remember that the bed bug extermination team here at HomeShield Pest Control is always available to help you get rid of them. We use industry-leading control methods and products to get results. Don't let the bed bugs bite. If you live in San Diego County, reach out to HomeShield Pest Control today.