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Prevent Bed Bugs: Quick tips

Quick Tips

Prevent Bed Bugs: Quick tips 

It can be hard to get rid of bed bugs once they are in your home. Follow these simple steps to help prevent them.

Learn the basics about bed bugs.

  • Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown bugs that bite people to eat blood. They can grow up to the size of an apple seed.
  • Bed bugs travel from place to place in luggage, clothes, boxes, and used furniture. They can also move between apartments through small cracks.
  • Bed bugs only come out at night. But leaving the light on won’t stop them from biting.
  • Bed bug bites can cause large, itchy bumps on some people. Other people don’t have any reaction at all.
  • Bed bugs can live for a long time without feeding.
  • Notify your landlord or a pest control company as soon as you find bed bugs in your home.

Use a flashlight to check for bed bugs.

  • Check for bed bugs hiding in the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Be sure to look under and along the seams (edges) of the mattress.
  • Look for small, reddish spots on the mattress. These spots could be a sign of bed bugs.
  • Search other furniture near the bed, like end tables.

Check for bed bugs when you travel.

  • Put your luggage on a luggage rack (away from the wall) or in a dry bathtub. Don’t put it on the bed.
  • Follow the steps above to check for bugs where you are staying.
  • If you see signs of bed bugs, call the hotel desk or tell your host right away.

Take extra care with your luggage when you get home from a trip.

  • Keep your travel clothes separate from other laundry. Wash them in warm water right away.
  • Vacuum your luggage to get rid of any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride. Take the vacuum outside to empty the contents into a tightly sealed plastic bag. Throw the bag away in an outside garbage bin.

Act right away if you see a bed bug in your home.

  • Don’t try to get rid of the bugs yourself. You could make the problem worse by spreading the bugs to other rooms in your home.
  • Use clear tape to attach the bug to a white piece of paper. Show it to a pest control expert to make sure it’s a bed bug.
  • Call a pest control company to check your home.

For more information on bed bugs, visit:

Content last updated on: April 27, 2012 Content Review by