Bed bugs are unpleasant, uncomfortable, and hard to get rid of. It’s better to keep them away from your home altogether. Check out these five tips to keep bed bugs away from your home, and learn what to do if you do wind up with an unfortunate invasion.
Keep a Clean Home
The more clutter you have in your home, the more places there are for bed bugs to hide and breed. By keeping your house clean, clutter-free, and dusted, you’ll be reducing the areas these little invaders have to hide in and grow colonies. A few extra minutes of cleaning every day can save much stress and money in pest control later.
Bed bugs are attracted to heavy foot traffic, warm air, cushioned furniture, curtains, drawers, wallpaper, electrical outlets, and cracks in the ceiling or floor. Bed frames, mattresses, box springs, and bedding are, of course, their favorite hiding places.
- Know-How To Identify a Bed Bug
Bed bugs are around the size of an apple seed, with a flat, brown body that is oval in shape (or reddish-brown and bloated if they’ve recently fed), and they produce a musty-sweet odor. Baby bed bugs (called nymphs) are minor, white, and translucent. They are so tiny that they can be tough to see. Bed bug eggs are the size of a pinhead, are pearl white, and have an eyespot if they’re older than 5 days.
- Use Essential Oils
Certain essential oils are anathema to bed bugs; they can’t stand the smell of them and will avoid going anywhere they are used. These include lavender, tea tree oil, lemongrass, thyme, and peppermint. The good news is that these oils smell great, so not only will they keep bed bugs away, but they will also freshen up the air in the room where they are applied. Note, however, that these oils won’t kill bed bugs. They will keep the bugs away, so they’re a deterrent, not a strategy for elimination. Also, be careful if you have pets because some essential oils can be toxic to animals.
- Know What Makes a Bed Bug Bite
Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal. They come out in the dark and usually bite sleeping people. They bite because they feed on blood through their long beak. They can provide for up to 10 minutes before becoming engorged and crawling away. They can bite anywhere on the body, but they most commonly bite exposed areas like the neck, face, and hands.
- Inspect Rooms and Secondhand Items
When you travel, check your room for bed bugs. Often they come into your home by being carried in from somewhere else. If you buy secondhand clothing or furniture, inspect it. Check anything you bring into your house to be sure it’s not infested.
If you do encounter bed bugs in your home, it’s time to bring in a pro. The right exterminator can get rid of your problem and ensure that it doesn’t come back. For more information and help, reach out to Integrity Termite & Pest Services Inc. or give us a call today!