Tips and tricks to avoid attracting bed bugs
You’re wondering how to protect yourself from bed bugs. Preventive measures are the best way to avoid this unpleasant situation. By applying the tips and tricks below, you will discourage them from moving into your home.
How to recognize a bed bug?
It is an insect without wings, of oval and flat shape, whose head is widened. Of brownish color, it measures up to 10 mm. The female produces 2 to 4 eggs per day (about 200 during her life). She deposits them in any location she considers well hidden. The bed bug feeds on human blood, which it collects through bites on different areas of the body. The small red spots can take up to 14 days to appear on the skin.
How do bed bugs get into an apartment?
- Do you notice a corner of wallpaper peeling off in a room in your home? Quickly repair or remove it and then repaint.
- Vacuum often, especially under beds and behind headboards. Take advantage of the opportunity to vacuum furniture fabrics (lift up the cushions!).
- Cracks and fissures can occur between baseboards in walls, furniture, door and window frames. As soon as you notice them, seal them up!
- Check often, in particular, the possible points of entry from the outside to the inside of the walls (entry of wiring, piping, utility equipment…) of your home and adjoining walls.
- Wicker furniture (rattan) is particularly popular with bed bugs. It is advisable to clean them from time to time with water containing baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar.
- It is not uncommon to find them behind or around decorative items (paintings, clock, mirrors, posters …).
- Bed bugs can sometimes hide along the hems and between the folds of curtains and even under the brackets. They also like carpets and rugs that are no longer brand new.
These insects and other unwanted guests enjoy dirt and clutter, so keep your home clean and tidy. If you have a pet, check where they sleep too!
Be careful what you bring home
- It is common to bring into a home new furniture and decorative accessories, used books, or items gleaned from junk sales and antique stores. Be careful with any items that are “second hand” or have been refurbished. Inspect them thoroughly on site or in a space away from your home. If you notice several white spots about 1 mm in size, they may be bed bug eggs.
- If you have helped a friend or loved one move, check your vehicle if it was used to transport items and furniture before returning home.
- You notice a sofa or mattress, which appears to be in good condition, that has been left out on the sidewalk. Better to leave it where it is!
- When you return from a trip, thoroughly inspect everything you bring back. Do not place your suitcases on the bed or on the floor. Before checking, place them in the bath.
These precautions not only protect you from bed bugs, they prevent them from spreading to your neighbors’ homes.
What equipment is needed to properly inspect a home?
Bring a flashlight, a thin piece of plastic (an old credit card cut in half, for example) to access narrow spaces. You will also need a screwdriver to remove the current plates (after closing the electrical circuit) and disassemble some furniture. You will also need a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a window cleaner and several light-colored rags. If you notice reddish-brown spots when you rub, they may be bed bug droppings. After your household inspection, place used rags in plastic bags sealed with heavy duty tape and place in a trash can.
How to remove bed bugs in an apartment?
If you only see a few bed bugs, do a thorough cleaning of your apartment following the tips mentioned above. Wash your bedding with hot water. In the event of a larger infestation, it is best not to attempt to solve the problem yourself; it is recommended to call in commercial extermination specialists. An exterminator specialized in pest eradication will visit the site to evaluate the level of infestation and apply solutions. He’ll have all the necessary training and experience to take charge of the problem and advise you in order to avoid a new infestation.