Once you have bed bugs, it can feel like an endless battle before your home finally feels clean. A common misconception is that if you’re tidy and vacuum often, these little critters won’t find their way into your home—however, this isn’t always the case. The best way to avoid a bedbug situation is early prevention. We’ll walk you through 8 steps you can take to protect your mattress against bed bugs or prevent a re-infestation.
Step One: Avoid Transferring Bed Bugs Into Your Home
Never bring in a used item sitting out on the street, such as a couch or other furniture, and you should probably avoid used mattresses as well.
Use caution when traveling or moving items such as luggage, furniture, and clothing – especially if they have been out in public areas for an extended amount of time where infestations may be present. If possible, seal belongings inside plastic bags before transporting, so you don’t bring bed bugs along with you once you return home!
Step Two: Vacuum Your Mattress Routinely
Regularly vacuuming your mattress is genuinely one of the easiest and most overlooked steps in protecting your mattress from bed bugs. You’ll want to clean your mattress every couple of weeks using a handheld attachment – ideally one made for pet hair removal.
This ensures you protect yourself by removing any stowaway adult insects or their egg cases that may be hiding inside crevices!
Step Three: Invest in a Mattress Protector
Bed bugs can live in your bed for up to a year without feeding on you or another warm body. Though they do need to feed regularly, if they cannot find their meal of choice—you!—they will eventually starve and die. A mattress protector will not only wholly encase any surviving bed bugs within the plastic, protecting you from bites and effectively starving them, but it will also protect your mattress against stains and spills.
If you’re looking for something waterproof that can be easily removed and machine washed, opt for tightly woven fabric rather than plastic options.
Step Four: Wash Your Sheets Weekly
After you’ve applied a mattress protector, it’s doubtful that it will become infected with bedbugs, but bed frames are also common shelters for pests. Washing bedding routinely should prevent any eggs from hatching if they’re present on these fabrics and could help you avoid itchy bites as well.
To increase the chance of success, wash all sheets and pillowcases on high heat for at least 60 minutes.
Step Five: Steam Clean Your Mattress
High heat levels will kill bed bugs immediately, so consider a routine steam cleaning to remove any stowaways. Also, be sure to check your mattress care instructions to avoid damaging your property.
Step Six: Vacuum Your Home Frequently
Vacuuming is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to clear your home of potential bedbugs, but how often should you clean? A good rule of thumb is once a week. However, you may need to do this more or less frequently depending on how many pets live in your home, as bed bugs can stow away on your dog or cat, especially if they have long hair or spend a lot of time outdoors.
Step Seven: Check for Signs of an Infestation Early
If you notice you are getting bitten in the night, check your bedding and bed frame immediately for a sign of bed bugs. If you have a white sheet on your bed, look for black dots near the seams or in pockets where bugs could potentially hide. These black dots that look like pencil markings may be bed bug droppings after they’ve fed on you.
Keep in mind, itchy marks may not appear for a few days after the bed bugs first bit you, so if you see these dots, it’s time to check the rest of your mattress and any other furniture in your home that could be harboring an infestation.
Step Eight: Know When to Call a Professional
If your mattress is visibly infested with bed bugs, do not move it. Transporting an infected mattress will only increase how quickly bed bugs can spread through your home and may cause secondary outbreaks in other house areas, including couches, chairs, or even beds where you don’t usually sleep.
Instead, call a bed bug professional immediately! A pest control company has extensive knowledge regarding how to remove an infestation from every aspect of your life without any harm coming to either side – pets or humans alike. For example, they know how much heat is needed for optimal eradication and when to apply certain chemicals according to bug species and their stages of development.
Additionally, a professional will know when you can salvage a mattress and when you’re dealing with a lost cause.
The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation in your mattress is to avoid bringing them into your home in the first place. Frequent vacuuming and cleaning of your linens will help, but if you live in shared spaces like an apartment, the best course of action is to buy a mattress protector.
If you already have an infestation, we recommend calling a professional like Synergy2 for proper removal instructions and effective eradication strategies.
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