Bed bugs. Just hearing these two little words will make your skin crawl. These things are a real used fur menace. So, if you’re asking how to decide if you have bed bugs, how to get rid of bed bugs, or how to prevent them in the first place, read on.

Preventing Bed Bugs

Sometimes bed bugs will get into your home, by no fault of your own. However, there are a few ways you can prevent these gross critters from trespassing.

  • Traveling? Visually inspect your room and luggage before going home.
  • Avoid used furniture. Especially furniture that bed bugs can hide in. Mattresses, box springs, sofas, love seats etc. There may be a reason that furniture is for sale, or in the dumpster.
  • If you find yourself in a home or hotel with bedbugs, throw all your clothes in the dryer immediately. Put your purse, coat, and shoes into a garbage bag for up to six weeks.
  • Keep your home clean and clutter free.
  • Check out some more tips from the EPA.

How to tell you if you have bed bugs

Check for small patches of blood on your sheets, and welts on your skin. Get a flashlight and check your bed and other furniture for the bugs. Find a bug that looks like a bed bug? Talk to your property manager immediately. You don’t want this problem to get worse.

How to get rid of bed bugs

Don’t try getting rid of bed bugs on your own, you will only make the problem worse. Over-the-counter products rarely kill all the bedbugs. You end up with an ongoing infestation. This is a job for professionals. Call your landlord.

  • Pest control will come to the home to inspect for bed bugs. If they find evidence of the bugs, they’ll check all other units sharing a wall, ceiling, or floor with the infected unit.
  • They will determine if a chemical or heat treatment would be most effective.
  • You will be responsible for preparing your unit for treatment. You’ll be given a list of exactly what you need to do. It will include things like taking all your pictures off the wall and bagging all items from infected rooms (clothes, shoes etc.). This step if very important to get rid of bed bugs. If this is not done, pest control cannot treat your unit.
  • Keep in mind, this is not an overnight quick fix. After the process is done, pest control will need to come back a few more times to make sure your home is free of bed bugs.

What are the costs? Who pays for the treatments?

Chemical treatments are typically less expensive than heat treatments. But they still cost a few hundred dollars. The resident is typically responsible for the paying for the treatment of the home. And if you brought them in, and they travel to the unit next to you, you might be responsible for your neighbor’s treatment too.

Having any bugs in your home is bad enough as it is. But bed bugs are in a league of their own. If you do get bed bugs, don’t procrastinate so you can nip this issue in the bud. Be sure to heed the advice of the EPA to keep these critters out of your house.

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