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Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Bed Bug Management Plan Prevention Tips

  • Wash all bedding regularly in hot water. The water should be at least 120 degrees.
  • Use bed bug encasements on all mattresses and box springs.
  • Check your own bed for bed bugs from time to time. Catching them early will make bedbug treatment easier if bed bugs do occur.
  • Vacuum floors regularly. Use the brush tool of your vacuum to vacuum your mattress. Use the crevice tool to vacuum crevices in the mattress and your baseboards.
  • Clean up clutter to reduce hiding spots.
  • Caulk holes in floors and walls.
  • When purchasing second hand clothing, place all garments in a sealed bag until they can be washed and place in a dryer on high heat for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • If you purchase used furniture, examine it for bed bugs. Pay special attention to used mattresses and bed frames.
  • When traveling, check your room for signs of bed bugs such as bloodstains on the pillows or linens. Inspect mattress seams, look behind headboards and pictures. If you suspect you may have brought bed bugs home, place infected items in the dryer or freezer.
  • After you return from a trip, check your luggage for insects that might have hitched a ride.
  • Use a flash light to inspect cracks and crevices of furniture, windows and door frames.
  • Swipe a putty knife or playing card into cracks and crevices to force bed bugs out. A hot blow dryer on a low setting will also work. If live bugs do come out, crush them with a paper towel and throw them away outside of your unit.
  • Remove drawers from furniture and check the inside, top and bottom, joints and even screw holes.
  • Look for bed bugs, blood stains, dropping and eggs. Start by looking in an area 10 - 20 feet around where you sleep or sit. That is the distance a bed bugs will usually travel.
  • Do not use "bug bombs" or foggers, which may worsen the problem.

Identifying Bed Bugs

How to identify Bed Bugs From its appearance:

  • Bed bugs are small insects that feed mainly on human blood. A newly hatched bed bug is semi-transparent, light tan in color, and the size of a poppy seed. Adult bed bugs are flat, have rusty-red-colored oval bodies, and are about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs can be easily confused with other small household insects, including carpet beetles, spider beetles and newly hatched cockroaches (nymphs).

From its markings, droppings and eggs:

  • Blood stains, droppings and eggs can be found in several locations including:
    • Mattress seams and tufts, sheets, pillow cases and upholstered furniture.
    • Crevices and cracks in furniture.
    • Baseboard of walls.

From its bite:

  • Some people do not react to bed bug bites. But for those who do, bite marks may appear within minutes or days, usually where skin is exposed during sleep. They can be small bumps or large itchy welts. The welts usually go away after a few days. Because the bites may resemble mosquito and other insect bites, a bump or welt alone does not mean there are bed bugs.

How Bed Bugs Grow and Reproduce:

Bed bugs are most active when we sleep. They crawl onto exposed skin, inject a mild anesthetic and suck up a small amount of blood. Most people never feel the actual bite. Bed bugs need a blood meal to grow and lay eggs. A female lays 5-7 eggs per week and if fed, will lay 200-500 eggs in her life. Eggs take about 10 days to hatch. Bed bugs are fully grown in 2 to 4 months and can live as long as a year.