Bed bugs are a growing problem. Taking a few preventative steps can save you thousands in treatment costs and hours of stress and lost sleep.
Table of Contents
What follows are 4 steps you can take immediately to prevent serious infestations.
Securing your bed is the first thing any preventer should do. Your bed is the one area you can control and protect completely.
We’ll also go over extra steps you can take to further defend your home in the next section.
Prevent Bed Bugs at Home
Taking steps to travel safely is the best way to reduce your chances of dealing with bed bugs at home.
When it comes to protecting your home from the inside, your bed should be your first priority. Here are the next most useful preventative steps you can take at home.
Protect Your Bed
Protecting your bed should be your number one priority.
Encasements and interceptors can even stop bed bugs completely if installed ahead of time.
Encasements make it easier to check for bed bugs while also keeping them out of their favorite place to hide – your bed.
Interceptors make it impossible for bed bugs to climb your bedposts. Bugs that try climbing up get trapped in the interceptor trap.
Traps also make it easy to take pictures of any bugs it might catch. This makes it easy to compare what you find with pictures online.
Once you have interceptors installed, checking for bed bugs is as easy as peeking inside of your trap.
This saves you from accidentally poking holes in your encasements.
Click any product name or picture to go to the corresponding review:
|AllerZip Smooth||SafeRest Premium||SureGuard||Sleep Defense|
|Zipper||BugLock 3-part||Velcro, Micro-Zipper||Velcro, "Zipper Technology"||Velcro, Zip-tie|
|Material||Cotton, polyester terry fabric||Polyester knit fabric||Polyester knit fabric||Polyester knit fabric|
|Sleeping Surface||Cotton||Cotton Terry||Cotton Terry||Polyester knit fabric|
|Rating||100 / 100||96 / 100||80 / 100||68 / 100|
|Why Buy?||Best Overall||Great Value||Budget Comfort||Budget Friendly|
Click through to read more on each product. Box spring and pillow encasement reviews can be found on the encasement page.
Apply Preventative Bed Bug Powders
After protection your bed, applying bed bug powders preventatively makes the next biggest difference.
These days, many newly constructed homes are treated with amorphous silica during the construction process. By dusting the foundation, pests like termites and bed bugs can be prevented for up to 10 years with no additional work.
Amorphous silica is affordable and easy to apply.
For more information on how and where to apply preventative powders, visit the page dedicated to them.
Keep Clutter In Check
Unlike flies and cockroaches, bed bugs are not a linked to unclean living conditions.
There are benefits to keeping a clean home though.
Crowding and clutter offer bedbugs more places to hide and breed. Keeping your floors clean helps get rid of many possible hiding places.
Pest control operators often ask clients to vacuum before they start treatment.
It’s important that you inject powders into tight spaces that’d otherwise be full of regular dust.
You’re going to want a vacuum with a good HEPA filter. Filters help keep tiny bed bugs and their contaminated feces inside.
Throw away filter bags outside in sealed bags after every vacuuming session.
Seal Entry Points
Neighbors are one of the most common ways to get bed bugs after travel. Holes between shared walls can happen for many reasons.
Holes between walls can create bed bug highways in multi-unit housing like apartments. Bed bugs will take refuge in next-door units when infestations get too big or when people try getting rid of them.
Using a little bit of caulk or sealing putty will stop this completely. Sealing those passages will help your neighbors and yourself.
Communicate With Neighbors
Sealing entrance points is a good place to start, but bed bugs can sneak in from any direction. Communication with neighbors is necessary to stop them from spreading.
Communicating with neighbors gives you a chance to share news. Open communication is the only way to prevent serious infestations in multi-unit housing.
Have A Plan Ready
Having a plan ready before you have a problem will put you several steps ahead of bed bugs.
Having a plan allows you to just start doing as soon as you find proof of an infestation. That allows you to avoid the worst part – sitting around, researching, and finally ordering the stuff you need to start treatment.
For an example of a preventative plan, see the last example here.
Avoid High Bed Bug Risk Areas
Family homes and apartments are the most common place you’ll bump into bed bugs. The bed bug causes page covers every high-risk area you might encounter.
Whether you’re in a family guest room, hotel, hostel, or anywhere else you may spend the night, take the time to check for bed bugs.
You can find them in expensive hotels, boutique bed and breakfasts, and in cheap motels.
Being careful while traveling is the most reliable way to protect yourself from bed bugs. We’ll go over steps you can take to travel safely below.
Can I Avoid All Bed Bugs?
In reality, there are many cases in which bumping into bed bugs is out of your control.
They are one of the most successful pests in the world and can be found in every single American state.
You can’t avoid all these situations in life.
The best way to avoid them is by knowing the signs to look for and taking steps to travel safely.
Take some time to also familiarize yourself with their biting patterns. Knowing what bed bug bites look and feel like can help you determine the source of mystery bites.
We host a gallery of pictures of bites on people to help you visually compare.
Pictures of bed bugs in different environments are useful as examples of what to look for.
Prevent Bed Bugs During Travel
The best way to prevent bed bugs is by watching out for them during travel. Travel is the most common way to end up with an infestation.
Bathtubs are a good place to store luggage. Bed bugs have a hard time climbing their smooth walls. A heavy garbage bag will do the job of keeping your clothes and luggage safe.
How to Check Rooms for Bed Bugs
Signs include red or brown colored stains, molted bed bug skins, rice grain sized eggs, and live bugs.
The fifth sign is bites. Bites won’t show up unless you have stayed at least one night.
A flashlight will help you examine the dark narrow spaces that are a bed bug’s favorite hiding place.
If you do find any signs of bed bugs, let management know. Ask to be moved to a room several units away if you don’t want to change lodging completely. The symptoms page has more details on all the symptoms.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to bed bugs, steps should be taken to protect your home before you get back.
Following the steps in the next section will help you do exactly that.
Better safe than sorry applies to bed bugs. Be especially careful if you’ve read reviews mentioning bed bugs.
Travel Safe Printable
It’s hard to keep track of things while traveling. That’s why we designed this checklist for you to bring on your journeys.
You can get this and several more helpful printables in the free ebook. It’s a condensed reference for everything you might want to know about bed bugs.
How to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home
Preventing bed bugs is all about staying two steps ahead. These next steps will stop you from bringing them home after traveling.
Leaving luggage outside for a week is only a guideline. It gives eggs time to hatch and nymphs time to evacuate the hot luggage. Leaving luggage outside for longer never hurts.
A bed bug heater is a great investment if you want to keep prevent bed bugs – especially if you travel often.
Heaters are convenient and perfect for travelers. They treat all your stuff at once in a few hours.
Click any product name or picture to go to the corresponding review:
|ThermalStrike Ranger||ZappBug Heater||ZappBug Oven 2||PackTite Closet||ZappBug Room|
|Volume||3.6 cubic feet||13.6 cubic feet||25.3 cubic feet||25 cubic feet||286 cubic feet|
|Heating Method||6-sided Conductive||1 Convective Air Heater||2 Convective Air Heaters||1 Convective Air Heater||4 Convective Air Heaters|
|Setup Time||Under 5 min||About 5 min||Under 10 min||Under 15 min||Under 20 min|
|Rating||96 / 100||90 / 100||92 / 100||60 / 100||96 / 100|
Knowing that your luggage is bed-bug-free is worth the investment to many. A single cycle gets rid of any bugs that might be in your bag.
It’s a lot more convenient compared to the leave-it-in-the-sun approach.
The ThermalStrike Ranger was designed for travelers. Travelers love it because there is no setup required, it is compact, and it is effective.
Thanks for Reading!
Prevention is the best form of medicine.
Of all the content on this page, I hope that you come away remembering to always check your room before settling in.
Armed with the knowledge of how to do that, you will be stopping the most common causes of infestations.
What should you do next? Learn how to get rid of bed bugs before an infestation happens. By learning now, you won’t be doing research when the bites start. The same is true of learning how to treat bed bug bites.
Feel free to leave requests and feedback in the comments section.