Your bed bug extermination strategy can only be successful if it includes a comprehensive prevention plan. In other words, prevention is key! Even if you think you've eliminated every single bed bug, you must also take steps to keep these areas bed bug free in the future or they may come back.

The following simple steps will help eliminate the risk of further infestation. (source)

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To prevent bed bugs : Eliminate bed bug hiding areas

  • Clean up any messy rooms.

  • Vacuum frequently and thoroughly, be sure to vacuum under beds and behind headboards.

  • Check the edges of your wallpaper and repair any ripped edges.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets are tightly screwed to the wall.
  • Close up all nooks and small areas on your bed or headboard/footboard. Look for spaces and gaps on any mouldings, window frames and floorboards.
  • Keep a close eye on plumbing, ventilation, and everything else that goes inside your walls, especially shared common walls. Seal up any unwanted openings.

Be careful when travelling

Unfortunately, traveling is the most common way to bring home bed bugs. If your luggage comes in contact with bed bugs at any time, you are at risk of bringing them home. Hotel rooms, taxi cabs, or even other peoples luggage at the airport are common places that are at risk.

Did you know?

Never bring your pillow on a trip! Bed bugs love pillows and will jump at the chance to secure a cosy new breeding ground, which you will then bring home. (source)

1) Inspect your hotel room's bed on arrival

A bed bug infestation in a hotel room is most often situated around the bed. Follow our tips here to learn to properly inspect the bed.

2) Protect your luggage

When you come in contact with bed bugs on a trip, your luggage is the means of transport the bed bugs will use to get to your home. Follow these simple tips to effectively reduce the risk :

  • Don't put your luggage on the bed. Use the luggage stand that is available in most hotel rooms. Inspect any surface on which will be in direct contact with your luggage.

  • Back home, avoid putting your luggage in the bedroom. Better to keep it in a room without fabrics or carpets. The garage is a good place to keep your luggage for a few days. Thoroughly wash all items from your luggage.
  • Once empty, inspect your luggage with a flashlight.
  • If you think you're luggage has been exposed to bed bugs, put yourluggage in a garbage bag or into a closed container. As soon as possible, steam clean your luggage. Some smaller pieces of luggage can be put in the dryer on maximum heat. (Consult manufacturer before putting your luggage in the dryer).

Did you know?

Bed bugs do not like plastic. Luggage with plastic has a smaller chance of carrying bed bugs. A lightly colored bag is preferable, as it will let you see the beg bugs easier than a very dark piece of luggage. (source)

Used furniture warning

Furniture, and especially second-hand furniture, are a big source of bed bug infestations. Although some tips will seem obvious (don't bring home thrown away furniture you found on the sidewalk), others are less obvious. (source)

  • Avoid used mattresses and used sofas and chairs. Garage sales and classified ads are high-risk.
  • Inspect any furniture that enters or re-enters your home. For example, your son brings his furniture back for storage from his appartment after college.
  • When buying a new mattress, ask the salesperson about delivery. Most mattress and furniture stores will pick up your old mattresses as a service. It may be safer to pick up your mattress yourself at the warehouse, if at all possible.

Did you know?

Bed bugs can live in books, and libraries have been infested. Before borrowing a book at your local library, inspect it! (source)

Infestations are easier to managed if they are identified quickly. Regular inspections will inscrease your chance of detecting any bed bugs before they get a chance to massively reproduce. Inspect your house regularly.

For your inspections to be worthwhile, start with your bed and your sofas. On top, underneath, on the sides, look for the bugs, as well as for traces of excrements, or dried blood. See this page for more information on inspections.