Tips on Preventing Getting Bed Bugs from Visitors and Avoiding an Infestation
Aside from the fact that bed bugs can enter your home by hitchhiking on your personal items, oftentimes human visitors are the ones that bring them in. Though it may sound awkward, it is necessary to know how you can prevent contracting bed bugs from visitors.
Knowing that you can easily get a bed bug infestation should make you a bit wary whenever you invite people to your home, especially if your visitors are staying overnight. There are also times when your close friends will ask if they can stay with you while their home is being treated for an infestation.
How to Minimize the Risk of Getting Bed Bugs
How do you minimize the risk of getting these unwelcome critters from your friends or family? The thought of limiting your visitors’ stay in your home because of your fear of contracting bed bugs may seem offensive. If your friends openly talk about their bed bug problems, these safeguard measures from the University of Minnesota can be taken.
Simple Tips to Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting In Your Home
The following are a few simple tips to follow when having visitors:
- Avoid putting your guests’ coats and bags directly on your bed. Have a standalone coat hanger placed away from the walls where you can hang the items instead. Even one single bug from the coat or bag can easily migrate to your bedding.
- Provide a clean front closet that will only be used for your guests’ belongings. After the visit, vacuum the area immediately and dispose of the vacuum bag. You can also use a bed bug HEPA vacuum to contain the bugs and their eggs properly, preventing it from spreading.
- Place a mat by the door and ask your guests to leave their shoes on it. Once your guests leave, clean the mat completely.
- Purchase attractive furniture covers to protect your couches. Wash them in hot water and dry them on high heat for 30 minutes or more to kill bed bugs and their eggs, if there are any.
- When guests bring gifts, launder those that are washable or have the delicate items dry-cleaned. Using a damp cloth, wipe wood or plastic materials completely.
- Put all wrapping paper and packing boxes in sealed plastic bags before disposing of it.
- If you have sensitive guests stay overnight, you can offer to do all their laundry without reason. This will make them think that you are only being hospitable and doing them a favour while you make sure that you are killing any bugs or eggs in the washer and dryer.
Letting everyone in your household know about these tips will help to minimize the risk of contracting bed bugs. The cooperation of everyone in the household while still making guests comfortable and cozy during their stay will make it easy for you to discreetly deal with bed bugs.
Hosting Guests who are Dealing with Bed Bugs Overnight
Since there are times when friends or family ask to stay at your place while dealing with a bed bug infestation, more open prevention methods can be taken, including:
- Ask visitors to change into clean and bedbug-free
- Wash and dry their clothing.
- Put their bags and suitcases in large plastic bags or a plastic box that you can tightly close.
- Let your guests wipe their shoes with a damp cloth soaked in hot soapy water or put them in the dryer. A portable heater like the Zappbug Heater can be used for heat-treating shoes.
- Have your guests’ beds wrapped in mattress encasements.
- Don’t forget to use couch covers, especially when your guests are staying for the night or when they prefer sleeping on the couch.
As your guests return home, make sure all the used bedding and other washable items will be washed and dried in high heat. Your guests may not have any idea that they are bringing bed bugs into your home, so it is highly recommended that you exert an effort to repel bed bugs during your guests’ stay and even after they leave.
Other Tips When Receiving Guests
More preventative measures you can take before your guests arrive include:
- Move the beds intended for your guests’ use away from walls and other furniture.
Aside from directly going for the bed, there are times when these pests will crawl through the wall and hide in cracks and crevices during the day.
- Tuck in the sheets and blankets
Doing this will prevent the bugs from easily getting in the sheets and blankets.
- Store bags and suitcases away from the bedrooms
As mentioned above, you can store the bags and suitcases in plastic boxes or bags that close tightly. Store these away from the bedroom to prevent these pests from migrating to the beds.
- Light-coloured bedding can help in easy detection
Blood stains and fecal stains are clear signs of these pests. Using light-coloured bedding will help in early detection and know if the guests, unfortunately, have brought the insects with them.
- Use mattress and box spring encasements
The tight-fitting encasements create a barrier against bed bugs and prevent them from burrowing into the bed.
- Get rid of clutter
You don’t want to provide hiding spots for these pests, so as much as possible, minimize or completely eliminate any clutter. Keep your guests’ belongings organized by setting up their own luggage rack and providing them with their own closet.
- Clean the guests’ room thoroughly as soon as they leave
Once your guests depart, it is highly recommended that you clean the entire room thoroughly. Don’t wait until the following day, as you will never know if the bedbugs are already settling in the room and accessing other parts of your home.
Practicing pest control at home, even after cleaning it, is still necessary to get rid of any signs of bugs. Take advantage of high-quality bed bug products you can use for prevention, monitoring, and detection at bedbugsos.ca.
- Sheila Nicole