Prevention of Bed Bug Bites
Because bed bugs don't tend to burrow under clothing, you may be able to avoid bites by wearing pajamas that cover as much skin as possible. Some studies indicate that bed nets impregnated with the pesticide permethrin may help protect sleepers against bed bug bites. However, this practice may be helping bed bugs develop resistance to this pesticide. Inspect used mattresses or upholstered furniture carefully before bringing them into your home. Check mattress seams for bed bug excrement and place your luggage on tables or dressers instead of on the floor. Eliminate any neighboring bird and bat habitats that may serve as a refuge for bed bugs, especially following an extermination attempt.
When bed bugs are suspected, a thorough inspection should commence in areas where people sleep or rest. Check all possible hiding places, mindful that bed bugs can fit into tiny cracks or crevices. Don’t overlook similar areas around pets, and where bats or birds have entered structures. If bats or birds are the source of infestation, they should be excluded from the premises. Note that bats and most bird species are protected by law and should not be killed. Contact state wildlife authorities for guidelines on bat/bird exclusion and removal. Pesticides, including wet table powder, micro encapsulate and dust formulations, can be applied directly into cracks and crevices harboring bed bugs, though hiring a pest management professional may be preferable to doing it yourself. Do not apply pesticides to mattresses, bedding or furniture unless the pesticide’s label specifically allows application to these items. Do not apply pesticides to mattresses, bedding or furniture where they will contact people .
- Avoid dust ruffles/bed skirts on your bed as this serves not only as a good hiding place, but as an easy means for the insects to travel from the floor to your bed, box spring, mattress and you. If you must have them, make sure they are not touching the floor.
- When you travel, be sure to inspect your hotel room for bed bugs. Travel is the #1 most common way bed bugs are spread. Using anti-bed bug travel products from Bed bug.com will aid in protecting your personal belongings as well as making it easier to unpack directly into your washer at home for added peace of mind.
- When possible, take off your shoes BEFORE entering your house, and make sure your visitors do the same. Bed bugs have been known to travel on peoples shoes and lay their eggs there.
- Never bring used bedding or furniture into your home until you have inspected the items thoroughly and are comfortable with the means in which the items have been transported to your home. Unfortunately, many delivery vehicles have unknowingly become infested with bed bugs due to removing infested items from customer’s homes.
How to prevent bed bug bites? Proper hygiene, changing bed sheets regularly, vacuuming carpets and using insecticides to kill bugs are ways in which you can address this itchy problem. However, throughout this trend of limiting indoor pesticides, we were bed bug free. Like the EPA, many people have concerns about applying chemicals where children sleep or play. But, if bed bugs should become as big a problem as they were at the beginning of the 20th century, the public may demand that the federal government register products that are effective against bed bugs. We will just have to wait and see. At this time, we do not know of any product that is in development specifically for bed bug control.