Tips for Preventing and Minimizing Bed Bug Infestations

Dr. Harold Harlan © Armed Forces Pest Management Board (with permission)

1. Avoid buying, or otherwise acquiring, used beds, furniture, clothing, TVs, electronics, boxes, etc. These items may be infested with bed bugs or their eggs. At the minimum, learn the signs of infestation and carefully inspect all items before bringing them into your home. Follow these laundering guidelines for disinfesting clothing and other items before bringing them into your home.

2. When a family member returns from college, the military, summer camp, a stay at the hospital, take the same precautions you would take for used furniture and clothing. Inspect any furniture or belongings that were carried in rental vans, moving trucks, delivery trucks or that was kept in a self storage unit before bringing them into your home.
3. Take precautions when traveling to prevent bringing bed bugs home with you. Check out our Travel Tips for more information.
4. Consider adopting housekeeping strategies that make your home less bed bug friendly. These easy techniques will help minimize infestations if you are exposed to bed bugs.

5. Act immediately if you believe you have a bed bug infestation. Waiting will only make the problem worse, resulting in a more difficult and costly elimination process. Learn to recognize the signs of infestation and inspect your home or business regularly.
6. Before moving your family and furnishings into a new home, consider having a canine bed bug inspection. Bed bugs can live for over a year in a vacant building, hiding under carpets, in wall voids, electrical receptacles and other areas.
7. Launder new clothing before putting it away. Reports of bed bug infested clothing in department stores are surfacing. Follow these laundering guidelines.
8. Property managers and owners of high traffic businesses should schedule periodic canine inspections to catch bed bug infestations early, before they become difficult and costly to treat. Protect your business from negative publicity, loss of income, lawsuits and out of court settlements that results from a bed bug infestation.

9. Don’t pick up beds, furniture or other items that were put out for trash removal. They may have been discarded because of bed bugs.