HOW do we protect our homes from Bed Bug infestation?
Of course, first and foremost, we should take every precaution to deter them from joining us in our homes.
My family has been in the bedding business for decades. I feel like I’m usually pretty up to date on bedding concerns and yet, I recently asked the following question as I prepared for a trip,
“Exactly HOW do I figure out if the room has Bed Bugs? And, if it does, what should I do?”
First, check www.bedbugregistry.com; an easy to use resource for identifying a hotels’ Bed Bug status before you arrive. Then, once you do arrive, here’s an outline I hope you find simple to implement and I encourage you to use:
1 – Upon entering the room, put all bags on a luggage rack (pulled away from the wall and bed), desk, or other surface that does not have “hiding” places. NOT on the floor, bed or upholstered chair.
2 – Carefully check all corners of the bed along the seams as well as the headboard. Pull off the cushion of the upholstered chair and check nooks and crannies and cushion seams.
3 – If there is sign of life…immediately remove yourself and your belongings from the room, insist on another room, and…
4 – repeat steps 1 through 3 until you are completely satisfied that your room is bug free.
I strongly recommend that if you don’t already travel with your own pillow (doesn’t everybody?…maybe it’s just because I’m a bedding snob) then you should definitely travel with your own bed bug pillow protector. If a full size pillow is too cumbersome in your luggage…try a travel pillow!
I am told that just because one hotel room has Bed Bugs, does not mean that they all do and there is probably no reason to relocate to an alternate hotel. I would use the 3 strike rule for Bed Bug protection. If you are not bug-free by the 3rd room, it is time to switch hotels (and be sure to let www.bedbugregistry.com know!) When you arrive home, wash everything in the hottest water available. Vacuum out your luggage and remove it from your room.
Now, most importantly, let’s protect your home from the hassle and expense of Bed Bug infestation. The best way to protect your bed and yourself is through encasement-style protectors. One of the products that I don’t go to bed without is the bed bug proof box spring protector designed by Protect-A-Bed with the BugLock zipper system certified by an entomology laboratory to be Bed Bug entry & escape proof. You can also keep your pillows and featherbeds safe with dust mite and bed bug proof pillow protectors and encasement-style featherbed protectors.
The good news is that washing sheets, vacuuming carpet, and steam-cleaning mattresses and other furniture can help, too. A very nice little regimen to pursue after the guests leave!
The most common misconception about Bed Bugs is that there are repellents that can be used to deter them. So far, that’s not the case and I certainly don’t recommend insecticides in your bed! Inspection and prevention are the best ways to avoid Bed Bugs.