The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and, unfortunately, the potential for unwanted guests: bed bugs. These tiny pests can easily hitch a ride on your visitors’ luggage, clothing, or personal items and make your home their new residence. Thus, it’s crucial to know how to prevent bed bugs from entering your home during the holiday visits, maintaining a bed bug-free environment.
Before guests arrive, educate them about bed bugs and ask them to check their belongings thoroughly. If they’ve stayed in a hotel or another place with a high risk of bed bug infestation, their chances of carrying these pests are higher. Let them know about the best way to avoid picking up bed bugs by using the S.L.E.E.P. acronym [Survey, Lift & Look, Elevate, Examine, Place]:
- Survey any new location when arriving for signs of a bed bug infestation.
- Lift and look for red, brown or reddish brown spots on bed clothing, examine crevices in the mattress and box springs, furniture, baseboards and picture frames.
- Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack, keeping it away from the walls and bedding.
- Examine luggage for signs of bed bugs when repacking and on returning home.
- Place any clothing that can tolerate it into a dryer at highest heat setting for at least fifteen minutes.
Encourage them to wash and dry their clothes on the highest heat settings before coming to your home, as extreme heat can kill bed bugs. Also, you can provide them with mattress and luggage encasements for added protection.
The top three locations that pest professionals report as finding infestations are single family homes, apartments and hotels. Bed bugs are notoriously elusive and a difficult pest to eradicate. They can survive high heat or extreme temperatures. They are found in all 50 of the United States and can survive several months without feeding.
While bed bugs are not disease carriers, their bites can cause itchy welts, trigger an allergic reaction. These insects feed primarily on humans. They are extremely hard to find, as they are the size of an apple seed and they are blood suckers. Meaning they survive on blood meals. Bed bugs lay up to five eggs a day and more than five hundred in a lifetime.
Use mattress and box spring encasements designed to prevent bed bugs on every bed in your home. Regularly vacuum your home, especially the areas around your furniture and beds. After your guests leave, wash all bedding and soft furnishings they used on a high-heat cycle.
If you notice any signs of bed bugs, like rust-colored stains on the sheets or mattresses, immediately call a professional pest control service. Remember, it is much easier and cheaper to prevent a bed bug infestation than to deal with its aftermath.
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The Bug Stops Here is a full service pest control and exterminator company serving Bohemia and Nassau County, New York and businesses located in Long Island, New York serving all of New York City; Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and surrounding area. For twenty years, our team at Pest Control team has been comprised of professional exterminators who provide high quality pest control services for both commercial and residential properties throughout New York. Our team of extermination professionals can get rid of a variety of pests, ranging from cockroaches, termites, ticks & fleas, bees, wasps,hornets, rodents, ants to bed bugs. Our goal is to provide you with the best pest control services that exceed both your standards and those of the industry as a whole.