How to Combat Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are becoming a bigger problem every day.  At The Allergy Store, we field calls daily about how to combat bed bugs. People want to prevent them. Unfortunately, too many people already have them. Sadly, when people think about bed bugs, they think of seedy hotels. Yeah, not anymore. Some of the finest hotels in the world have had to combat bed bugs. Today, bed bugs are in homes, apartments, hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, and shelters.

picture of bed bugsLearning About Bed Bugs

Over the years, we’ve found several great articles and resources about bed bugs. Here are just a few:

Harvard University put together a great bedbug problem flowchart for their students living in campus housing. It’s good advice for anyone in a rented area. This includes dorms or apartments.

EHSO provides a wealth of information about bed bugs at their dedicated bed bug page.

The Centers for Disease Control maintains a bed bug FAQ and information to help you understand the bug’s life cycle.

combat bed bugs by attacking where they hideSteps to Combat Bed Bugs

We tell all our customers to do the following:

  • Clean the infested room thoroughly. Pay special attention to the mattress, bed frame and headboard.
  • Remove the mattress from the frame and clean the frame and headboard.
  • Vacuum all around the bed, under furniture and in the closet.
  • Clean the baseboards and caulk them if necessary.
  • Vacuum the mattress and then encase it with a bed bug proof encasing. Any bed bugs trapped in the mattress will die.
  • Don’t start spraying pesticides. Let a licensed professional do it. If you are chemically sensitive make sure they know it before any treatment is done.
  • Don’t panic. This too shall pass

Preventing Bed Bug Infestations

As a rule, when we travel we never leave our suitcase on the floor, bed or in the closet. We set it on the dresser or use the luggage rack found in the room. If the hotel doesn’t have a luggage rack, we place our bags in the bathtub.

When you come home, don’t bring your luggage into the house. Unpack in the garage, carport or other areas. Inspect your luggage, then wash your clothing.

Wishing you the best of health
Mike Krause


Check Out the Oddest Places You’ll Find Bed Bugs

When you think bed bugs, the first thing you think is “Ewwwwww”.  You probably think they are found in beds; that those beds are in hotels; and you would never stay in one of those hotels.  People find these disgusting bugs all over. Here are some of the weirdest places they’ve been found.

In the Bedroom

They are called bed bugs because they like beds.  They also like other spots in the bedroom.

bed bugs found in alarm clocksAlarm Clocks. Bed bugs have been found inside alarm clocks sitting on night stands next to the bed.  It’s dark; it’s warm; it’s close to the bed and the food source.  It’s  heaven and there are have quite a few reports of people finding bed bugs in alarm clocks.

Picture Frames.  These guys crawl away to hide during the day. If they can’t find a spot on the floor they just head up the wall.  The first good hiding spot they may find is a picture frame. People find bed bugs hiding behind pictures and in picture frames.

In the Laundry

They don’t wear clothes, but they love laundry.  It’s a great place to hide.

Laundry Baskets.  Lots of folks find them in their laundry baskets.  It can be full or empty.  Theses laundry baskets  are usually kept in the bedroom. The little buggers crawl in to hide.  Keep the laundry basket out of the bedroom.

Public Laundry.  Laundry baskets end up at the Laundromat and bed bed bugs are found in coin operated laundromatsbugs come along for the ride.  My son’s wife took the oversized comforter to wash at a coin laundry.  She brought it home damp but before it went in the home dryer she checked it out. She found bedbugs.  That freshly laundered comforter immediately went outside into the trash.  The entire basement was treated.   If you wash at a laundromat; check everything carefully before heading home.

Other Odd Places for Bed Bugs

Bedbugs have been found in curtain hems.  Exterminators say this is pretty common in the bedroom. Drapes are close to the ground and make an awesome hiding place.  Who looks in curtain hems?

scared man no attrib

Pity the management at  AMC Empire 25 in Times Square.  That theater has been hit twice with bed bugs.  If you are watching a creepy movie and feel your skin crawl, it might be the movie theater.  Ewwww

Best Defense

The best defense  is stop them before they get started.

Found a bed bug in a weird place? Comment below!


Avoid Bed Bugs When You Travel – Only Bring Back Memories

You have probably seen lots of articles and blogs written about how to avoid bed bugs when you travel.  If you weren’t planning a trip or weren’t thinking about bed bugs, you probably didn’t read them.  I know I wouldn’t unless I worked where I do and talk to people on a daily basis with bed bug problems.

To summarize the articles on how to avoid bed bugs:

  • put luggage in back seat and not trunk of rental car;
  • never place luggage on floor or bed of hotel/motel room;
  • inspect bed upon arrival for signs of bed bugs;
  • keep luggage closed and zipped up while it is in the room.

But, what about if despite these precautions you bring home a few souvenir bed bugs?  How can you keep this accident from becoming a large problem?

Don’t unpack your luggage in your house and by all means, don’t ever place your suitcase on your bed! That’s right, when you come home, no matter how tired you are, put the suitcases in the garage, carport, or patio.  Don’t bring them in the house.  If a bed bug was hitching a ride, then when he decides to go mobile, he won’t do it in your house.  There isn’t much to eat or do in the garage or carport or patio so he can starve or die of loneliness.  Its not your concern.  Much like a vampire, you just don’t want to invite him inside.

Once you are ready to unpack, gather all your clothing and take it straight to the laundry room and into the washer.  If it is more than one load, leave it outside until it can come into the washer.  If your clothing is not washable, then put it in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes..  That will kill any hidden bugs.

Once the luggage is empty, carefully inspect all the creases and folds, especially the lining.  A flashlight can make this job easier.  Look for hidden bugs.  If you own a dry heat steamer (like the Vapamore Primo) this is a great time to steam the inside and outside of the suitcase.  Even if you don’t see signs of bugs, its a good idea to freshen up your suitcase on occasion, just for hygiene purposes. Make sure the item is completely dry, zip it closed and now you can store it.  Because I keep my suitcases in a closet that contains off-season clothing, I never put my suitcase right away.  It doesn’t hurt the suitcase or take up too much room in my garage if I keep it out there for 7 to 10 days just to be sure.  Not that I have a paranoid fear of bed bugs, but like I said, I talk to people every day that bring the buggers home from a trip.

If you have one of our zippered bed bug covers already on your bed, you know that no matter where they roam, the bed bug won’t make it into your mattress.  That is also a comforting feeling when you get back in your own bed after a long trip.  Dorothy was right, there really is no place like home. Just don’t share yours with bed bugs.

Til Next Time!

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