After the sleepless nights and itchy mornings, days of washing, vacuuming, cleaning and of course a call to the professionals, the bed bugs are finally gone. Now, how do you keep the bed bugs out of your home for good while maintaining your sanity?
The first step in preventing a bed bug infestation is to keep on looking for bugs. Bed bugs are roughly the size of apple seeds with oval-shaped bodies. They are wingless insects with six legs and can range in color from almost white to brown. Bed bugs turn the recognizable rusty-red color after feeding.
The only way to be certain that you’ve killed the adult bed bugs and the eggs is to contact a professional bed bug exterminator. The best method to exterminate bed bugs is through heat treatment. In this professional service, technicians bring your home to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat immediately kills both adult bed bugs and their eggs.
The days after a treatment
If you’ve brought the bed bug professionals to your home, they should be gone. However, it is always good to stay watchful in the weeks following a bed bug infestation.
- Vacuum daily in the first few weeks. Throw out the vacuum bag immediately after cleaning. Even if you don’t see signs, the eggs could still be around.
- Don’t change bedrooms. You might feel the strong need to make your current bedroom the den, but hold off on the move for a bit. Bed bugs could still be on the furniture and by switching rooms, you could be spreading the infestation to more areas of the home.
- Seal your mattress. You can purchase plastic bed encasements for your mattress and box spring. Be sure to purchase an encasement with a bed bug proof zipper. These are specially made zippers that close so tight that the smallest of bed bugs cannot pass through them. The goal here is to trap the bed bugs in the encasement where they will die. It is a good idea to keep the plastic on the mattress for at least a year.
- Keep an eye out. With inspections of your furniture, routine vacuuming, and targeted treatments by a professional exterminator, there is a good chance of keeping your mattress and upholstered furniture.
Start a post-travel routine
Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. These blood-sucking parasites will latch onto your luggage or clothing and take up residence in your home. When you get home, immediately wash all your clothing and inspect your luggage. Remember high heat will kill bed bugs. Be sure to examine the seams of the luggage as bed bugs like to hide.