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Stopping Them at the Source: Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Are you contending with bed bugs? You may have sanitized your entire house but want to kill them at the source. Many people believe they thrive in unsanitary environments.
The pests can breed in unclean areas, but they mostly thrive on personal items, such as clothes and luggage, including cluttered areas. You can also spot them in unlikely places, such as yards.
What do bed bugs look like?
They're wingless bugs with six legs and ovular-shaped bodies. They're about the size of an apple seed.
Baby bed bugs are hard to spot, but you can still see them if you look close enough. Regardless, there are several ways to get rid of the parasites before they enter your home.
This article will show you how to prevent a bed bug infestation. Let's explore.
Bags and luggage are some of the most common hideouts for these parasites. If you're a frequent traveler, check your suitcases and bags before entering your home.
You should sanitize your luggage and bags in the following manner:
- Empty Your Bags: Wash all clothing contained in the bag in hot water, and wipe down all non-washable items.
- Scrub the Bags: Take the bags outside, and scrub all areas, including the corners. Corners and crevices may contain bed bug eggs. Then, vacuum the luggage thoroughly.
- Apply Bed Bug Pesticide: Spray the luggage with a bed bug pesticide. If you don't want to use pesticides, use a steam cleaner as an alternative.
- Vacuum the Luggage: After applying the pesticide or steam cleaner, vacuum again to ensure you removed all of the bugs.
- Let the Luggage Dry: Allow the luggage to dry in the sun. If you still see bed bugs, repeat the process as necessary.
These critters can cling to your clothes and gain entry into your home. People who travel frequently may have bed bugs on their clothes and not know it. Therefore, avoid bringing your traveling clothes into the home.
The bugs can jump from your clothes to other parts of your home. Ideally, try to wash your clothes in a Laundromat. If not, you can try the following strategy:
- Separate your infested clothes from your non-infested clothes. Place the infested clothes in a trash bag. Seal the bags to ensure the bed bugs don't spread around the home or Laundromat.
- Empty the bag of clothes into the washer, and use the hot setting.
- Fold the infested bag, and place it in a clean bag.
- Place the clothes in a dryer for at least 30 minutes on medium or high. If you don't want to wash your clothes, place them in the dryer for 30 minutes. The heat will kill the bugs instantly.
- Inspect the clothing before folding and putting them away. Repeat the cycle as necessary if you spot lingering bugs.
Bed bugs can live on birds and bats. If you live in an area with a heavy bird or bat presence, you may have a bed bug problem. In particular, bats carry bat bugs, which are similar to bed bugs.
The pests may come from a wild animal and nest in your yard. They can thrive outdoors, but they'll enter homes for shelter.
The good news is that bed bugs don't normally enter your homes through your pets. Nevertheless, your pet can still bring bed bugs from the yard into your home. They can feed on your furry friends and hitch a ride within their fur.
When outside, the parasites normally hide in the following areas:
- Patio furniture
- Firewood piles
- Structural deficiencies (i.e. cracks or holes)
Overall, any cluttered area of your yard may harbor a bed bug infestation. Try to clean your yard as much as possible. Bed bugs thrive in enclosed spaces. You can make your yard inhospitable by depriving them of shelter.
That said, how long they live in your yard depends on several factors, such as weather conditions, food availability, and natural predators. Some natural enemies of bed bugs include lizards, ants, spiders, and cockroaches. However, these predators alone cannot eliminate bed bugs.
You can also finish the job with a routine application of bed bug pesticides to reduce their outside presence.
Buying Used Furniture
You may see a great furniture piece at a garage sale. Perhaps you found a great deal from a professional seller.
The problem is that furniture can be a nesting ground for bed bugs. If you buy used furniture, you stand the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home. In many cases, the sellers don't know the furniture contains these pests.
Further, the seller may not have cleaned the furniture thoroughly. It's possible to eliminate bed bugs from furniture, but the process can be arduous.
You can sanitize the furniture before you bring it into your home. However, the safest option is to not buy used furniture at all.
Stopping Bed Bugs Before They Enter Your Home
Attacking their nesting area is the best way to prevent an indoor infestation. Above all, bed bugs will cling to personal items in the form of bags, luggage, purses, and clothing.
Bed bugs can also live in yards and on wild animals.
The bugs can transition from the animal, nest in your yard, and enter your home. Since the parasites dwell in crevices and corners, eliminate cluttered areas indoors and outdoors.
Do you live in San Fernando and have a bed bug issue? Click here to learn what you can do.