Bed Bug Precaution

To be limit exposure, be cautious and use common sense.  Remember bed bugs cannot crawl up smooth surfaces, cannot access a sealed container, require a blood meal for growth, development, procreation and impregnated females temporarily run away from feeding sites .  Limit their access to hiding and traveling in or on your personal items or self.  When working or visiting in an environment where transmission is possible:

  • Do not sit on upholstered furniture (couch, chairs, lounge chairs)
  • Do not set any personal belongings on upholstered furniture nor on floor.
  • As a precaution, carry a change of clothing (stored in a clean garbage bag, including shoes) and change prior to leaving work or possible area of transmission (bagging work clothing in garbage bag to be heat treated – 20 to 30 minutes on high in dryer or laundered and dried under high heat.)
  • Store personal items (purse, brief cases) in a clean clear garbage bags, file cabinets, metal storage lockers, or in any smooth sealable container that will prohibit entry of any insects.
  • limit decorative personal items at work center, to limit potential hiding (and eventual transporting) of bed bugs.
  • Capture and kill any live bed bugs seen or found.
  • Do not come into close contact with anyone that potentially may have bed bugs on clothing/self.

At home as a preventative:

  • Limit or restrict visitors that you know have bed bugs.
  • Change work clothing in bathroom, basement or garage where you can monitor any bed bugs that may accidentally have been picked up and drop off when clothing is changed.
  • Launder all “exposed” clothing or store in clear plastic bags (sealed) until laundered or dry-cleaned.
  • Limit hiding areas in bedrooms by limiting excess items in bedrooms – remove as many unnecessary items as possible.
  • Bed bugs will congregate where they can obtain a blood meal (anywhere where mammals sleep or nap).
  • As a precaution, wrap all mattresses AND box springs with bed bug proof covers.
  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum – picking up live bed bugs restricts their ability to lay eggs.
  • Vacuum thoroughly bed rooms, upholstered furniture in living/family room and basement or laundry areas at least weekly.
  • Vacuum underneath couches and chairs often
  • Monitor family members (and self) for “suspicious” bites “suddenly” appearing (may take up to 24 hours or so).
    • Bed bug bites are frequently seen on torso, arms or any part of the body that is not covered while sleeping. Bed bugs need anywhere from 5  to 20 minutes of undisturbed feeding and can “re-bite” in close proximity until engorged.
    • Fleas bite basically at the ankles and lower leg – usually a single bite.
    • inspect bedding for blood “spots” (fecal matter from bed bugs while feeding)
    • Inspect beds for actual insects on corners of mattress or between mattress and box springs
  • Change bedding often (weekly) or more often as able.
  • Transport bedding/clothing to laundry in clear garbage bags or solid containers.
  • Launder all bedding and heat treat pillows, quilts or decorative items often.
  • Inspect shoes and items stored on closet floors for bed bugs
  • store shoes and other items in a plastic container when not in use.

Be cautious of any house guests, especially anyone that appears to have bites on arms and legs.   Be wary of offering rides to anyone you suspect of having bed bugs.  As a precaution, periodically vacuum vehicle if you do offer rides.  Maintain distances in crowded situations – avoid brushing up against others or coming in close contact.

Bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to over the counter purchased products.  If this avenue is followed, read all directions and apply accurately according to label instructions and precautions.  There are many forms of bed bug services being offered.  Investigate all options and compare before purchasing.