When people think of places that are infested with bed bugs, they often think of dirty hotel rooms or homes that are unclean. The truth is that bed bugs can be anywhere, and your home doesn't even need to be dirty to have an infestation. You can pick up these pests in any public place and unknowingly bring them into your home. Here are some tips for preventing a bed bug infestation, as well as how to exterminate them.
Identifying Bed Bugs
The key to not having a bed bug infestation is having the ability to identify them. Bed bugs are no longer than a quarter inch, and have a body that is brown, flat, and oval-shaped. Bed bugs that have recently fed will be a reddish-brown color. If you notice bed bugs in a place that you have been, such as a bus or other form of public transportation, you will want to take preventative measures to ensure that you do not take the bed bugs into your home.
Preventing an Infestation
You'll want to remove your clothing in an area that does not have any carpet fibers under you, such as a garage. You should remove all articles of clothing and shake them to see if any bed bugs fall to the ground. Even if you do not see bed bugs, they could still be hidden in the fabric of the clothes you are wearing. Put your clothing in a sealed plastic bag to prevent them from spreading in your home.
Exterminating Bed Bugs
There are several methods that you can use to kill any bed bugs that are on your clothes.
The easiest way to kill any bed bugs in your clothes is by using heat. You'll want to wash your clothing with the hottest water that the fabric can take, and then put the clothing in your dryer on a hot setting. This should be enough to kill bed bugs hiding in the threads of the fabric.
If your clothing cannot be put into hot water, you can use an alternative method that will kill the bed bugs in a cold environment. You can place your sealed plastic bags of clothes in a deep freezer that is below 0°F. They'll need to stay in the freezer for 4 days, which should be enough time to kill the bed bugs.
For those that need help with a home that has been infested with bed bugs, contact a local exterminator that can assist you with more extreme bed bug treatments.