Prevention is the key to bed bug control. The bed bug is a hitchhiking pest that is easily transported from place to place without being noticed. Bed bugs feed on human blood and are attracted to carbon dioxide and body heat, meaning that any living human is pretty much up for grabs. And while that might seem a bit terrifying, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent bed bug infestations or catch the infestation before it gets out of control.
Tips for Bed Bug Prevention
- Use a metal bed frame - Wood has cracks and crevices that provide hiding places and has porous surfaces that allow for ease of climbing
- Keep the home free of clutter - Reduces hiding places for bed bugs and makes inspection easier
- Seal cracks and crevices around your home - Prevents bed bug hiding places
- Inspect when traveling - On arrival inspect the bed and furniture, keep suitcases off the floor and inspect them before you leave
- Inspect used furniture before bringing it into your home - Includes bed frames, mattresses, box springs, chairs, tables, etc.
- If you think you have been around bed bugs, immediately wash and dry your clothes on the hottest settings
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
- Live bed bugs - Nymph and adult bedbug aggregations
- Blood stains - From engorged bed bugs that have been crushed
- Droppings - Undigested blood which become fecal spots. These spots are usually reddish brown or dark brown to black, sometimes yellowish.
- Shed Skins - As bed bugs grow from nymph to adult they shed their skins which are light colored (exuviae)
- Eggs - Size of a pinhead, pearly white in color
Early Detection of Bed Bugs by Monitoring
Consider protection devices. If you’re a frequent traveler, lives with roommates or in a multi-unit dwelling, or are just concerned about bed bugs you may want to invest in bed bug detection supplies. They serve as both early detection, and in the case of the interceptors, prevention.
- Mattress encasements - Traps bed bugs, makes bed bugs easily identifiable, prevents future infestations
- ClimbUp© Insect Interceptors - Captures any bed bugs moving to or from your bed
- Sticky traps - Captures any bed bugs that travel across the sticky surface
Here Are Resources on Preventing Bed Bugs
Stop Bed Bugs – Department of Pesticide Regulation
Bed Bug Pest Notes – University of California IPM Program
Preventing and Getting Rid of Bed Bugs Safely – New York City Health Department
Bed Bug Prevention Factsheet – San Francisco Department of Environment
How to protect your bed from bed bugs – Contra Costa Bed Bug Task Force
How to Protect a Mattress on the Floor from Bed Bugs – Contra Costa Bed Bug Task Force
How to Make a Furniture Leg Bed Bug Trap – Contra Costa Bed Bug Task Force