How to avoid bed bugs requires knowing where bed bugs come from, and
the precautions you can take to avoid having them enter your home.
This site provides tips on how to avoid bedbugs and what to
look for when traveling.
Bed bugs are not a reflection on cleanliness. They
have to be carried from place to place. They will also move
up to 100 feet in any direction from where they are dropped off or
where they leap off an object. This is how bed bugs spread
from hotel room to hotel room or from apartment to apartment.
How to Avoid Bed Bugs: Identifying Bed Bugs
This video from National Geographic will help when you are identifying
How to Avoid Bed Bugs: Where They Are Found
Bed bugs could be picked up by anyone at locations such as:
Hotels, motels, inns, airplanes, cruise ships, taxis and
Churches and Temples
Discarded Furniture and mattresses, used televisions,
linens, clothes, boxes etc.
Furniture given as a gift
Property that was stored in a self storage locker or
New furniture or mattresses that were transported in the
same truck that carries away used furniture or mattresses. or was
transported in a rented truck
Rental trucks and cars
House Guests or visitors that are coming from a long-term
care facility or bed bug infested room.
Tips for How to Avoid Bed Bugs:
Here are some general tips that will help to keep your home
bed bug free:
Do not take any used furniture or mattresses from the
street. Know who is selling you the furniture and inspect for
If you buy used clothing, pack it in a sealed plastic bag,
and then wash immediately in hot water followed by 30 minutes in the
Check any hotel or cruise stateroom for bed bugs.
Follow the tips below.
Avoid contact with furniture that you believe has bed bugs
Keep your home clutter free. Even though this has nothing
to do with getting bed bugs in the first place, it gives bed bugs a
place to hide.
If in an apartment building, consider spreading diatomaceous
dust or bed bug dust along any baseboards. If you
have new apartment construction, ask the contractor to spread this type
of dust in the wall. It will cling to any bedbugs and cause
their skin to molt prematurely, killing the bug. This is
becoming a best practice in major cities.
How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling:
Over tips for traveling without bringing home bedbugs include the following:
Inspect the Room:
Before you bring luggage into a cruise ship or hotel room, inspect for
bed bugs. A sure sign is the presence of brown fecal spots or
molted skins on the mattress or sheets. Checking is as simple
as lifting the linen off a corner of the bed. Check along the
seems. A favorite hiding place for bedbugs is under the
mattress label, seams and any tears in the mattress fabric.
Other places to check include around the bed frame and hiding behind
How to Avoid Bed Bugs -
Check the Mattress
Bed bugs are adept at hiding in cracks and crevices. Be sure
to check all wood, paper and fabric surfaces.
After checking the bed, nearby objects such as end tables should be
Keep Luggage off The
Floor and Bed: One of the best bed bug travel tips is to
keep your luggage of the bed (most bed bugs hide in or near the bed)
and off the floor. Hang what you can in the bathroom,
particularly places such as the shower rail.
Pack in Plastic: Seal everything in plastic as you pack
to go home including souvenirs. Inspect everything.
Consider protecting clothes and your luggage with Bugzip
plastic zippered protectors.
Unpack Outside Your Home:
One tip for how to avoid bed bugs is to Unpackitems outside or
in the garage if you have one. Bring clothes in a plastic bag
or ideally a bed bug proof zippered container directly to the washing
machine. Only bring clothing that can withstand being placed
directly into a washing machine on the hottest water setting when
returning home. These clothes should also withstand 30
minutes in the dryer at the hottest setting (bed bugs are killed at
114F). To be extra sure you can bring the clothes directly to
a dry cleaner or laundry mat. If you live in a warm
weather climate or it is a hot day, leave the luggage in the trunk so
that it super heats to the 114 degree threshold for killing bed bugs.
Spray Your Luggage Before
Storing: Use an insecticide based spray such as Sterifab
or a natural bed bug spray such as Bug
Patrol before storing luggage. Lightly spray along
Buy Hard, Not Soft
Luggage: Luggage that has hard surfaces has fewer hiding
places for bed bugs. Bed bugs prefer rough surfaces over
How To Avoid Bed Bugs in Apartment Buildings
As noted above, there are many ways that bed bugs can enter an
apartment building. Since they are carried in, there are
obvious things that can be done to help prevent a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs can move in any direction wihtin 100 feet. This
includes apartments that are above or below the room with the
infestation. They move through cracks in the walls, such as
along openings for heating pipes or baseboards.
The number one thing you can do when thinking about how to avoid bed bugs is to ban the entry of used mattresses,
box springs or bed frames. This is probably the number one
culprit. The other thing to do is to ban used furniture, or
develop a process for inspecting furniture before it is brought into
the building. There is even talk in New York City of new
building creating thermal rooms where furniture can be super heated to
114F before items can be brought into a building.
Should You Buy Mattress Covers for Bed Bugs?
After treatment, zippered
mattress covers for bed bugs, for both the box spring and
mattress, can be helpful. They trap any
unhatched eggs and bed bugs that were missed during treatment.
Without being able to feed, the bed bugs will eventually die.
This step is always a good idea as part of the treatment
Buying covers before treatment, or if you are afraid of bed bugs will
not keep bed bugs off the bed. They will still climb up the
legs of the bed and look for a human host to feed on. That
said, the covers will limit the number of hiding places that the bed
bugs have, potentially, moving the bed bug hiding places to other areas
of the room. Treatment could be made easier by not having to
treat the mattress and box spring.
One tip for how to avoid bed bugs and to protect your bed is to move it 6 inches from the wall to avoid having bed
bugs jump from the wall onto the bed. Make sure that linens
are not touching the floor. A good way to keep bedbugs off
the bed legs and to see if you have a bed bug problem, is to buy a set
of 4 climbup
interceptors. These small bowls are placed under
each leg and trap the bed bugs as they try and climb up onto the bed.
You can tell the extend of a bed bug problem if any by
looking inside the bowls. It's also a way to tell after bed
bug treatment if there is still a problem.