A Helpful Guide To Keeping Bed Bugs Out Of Your Washington D.C. Home


Bed bugs   
bed bug full of blood

There’s something about bed bugs that makes even the bravest people shudder. Even if you’re not afraid of bugs, the thought of them crawling around in your bed, feeding on your blood while you sleep is enough to make anyone start to squirm.

Keeping bed bugs out of your Washington D.C. home is a worthy goal, but do you even know where to begin? Learning a little bit about bed bugs, how they get into D.C. homes, the signs to look for, and what you can do to prevent them will go a long way in helping you not only avoid a bed bug infestation, but also know what to do if you find bed bugs in your home.

Who Is Susceptible To A Bed Bug Infestation?

When you think of a bed bug infestation, you probably think of a filthy house, filled with messy countertops, unwashed laundry, and garbage all over the floor. It is a commonly held belief that bed bugs only infest dirty locations, but just like the myth of lice only getting into dirty hair, this belief is simply untrue.

Bed bugs don’t care if your Washington D.C. house is dirty or clean. They are just as likely to infest the house where you can eat off the floors as they are to infest the home where you can’t even see the floor.

This misconception may have gotten its start due to the fact that bed bugs can hide in a house with a lot of clutter more easily than they can in a less cluttered house. A messy house makes it easier for a bed bug infestation to grow into a large infestation before being noticed. In a clean, uncluttered home, you may notice a bed bug infestation earlier and when it is less severe since the bed bugs don’t have as many places where they can stay out of sight.

How Do Bed Bug Infestations Start?

Bed bugs can infest any type of home, no matter how clean or dirty, because of the way they move around. Unlike most pests,they don’t get their start outside on your lawn or in areas near your property, then move their way closer until they get inside. Your average pest, such as spiders or ants, can be prevented from getting into your home by applying a preventative treatment around the perimeter of your house. However, bed bugs don’t get into houses the same way as other pests, so you can’t keep them out of your house in the same way that you do other pests.

Instead, bed bugs love to travel. As the world’s best hitchhikers, they will climb onto shoes or pant legs, or into bags or boxes, and go along for the ride wherever those items take them. At some point on the journey, or when the journey ends, they’ll climb off or out of these items and begin their lives in their new location, no matter where it happens to be.

Due to the way they get around, bed bug infestations can start anywhere and at any time of year. It’s possible to pick up a bed bug any time you go to a public location. It’s possible to pick up a bed bug when you visit a friend’s house. It’s possible to bring bed bugs home after being at the library, a hotel, or on a bus. It’s possible for your kids to bring bed bugs home from school or for your friends to drop some off at your house while they’re over for a visit.

It’s also possible to end up with a bed bug infestation after purchasing second hand furniture or appliances. If the home they were in had a bed bug infestation and you bring these items into your house, there’s a high likelihood that they will have bed bugs in or on them. Once inside your house, the bed bugs will be able to crawl off these items and move throughout your house.

To reiterate, bed bug infestations can begin at any time and can be caused by anyone or anything that enters your house. It doesn’t matter how clean or dirty your house is and while having pest protection around your house can put you at lowered risk for infestation; bed bugs can still get inside if the opportunity arises.

How Can I Prevent Myself From Picking Up Bed Bugs When I’m Out In Public?

Once you know how easy it is to end up with bed bugs in your Washington D.C. home, you can become more cognizant of how your actions might cause a bed bug infestation. Preventing yourself from picking up bed bugs when you’re out in public and bringing them home with you, as well as preventing the other people who live in or visit your home from bringing bed bugs inside with them, is not an easy task. Although you can’t prevent bed bug infestations 100% of the time, you can take precautions to lower your chances of ending up with bed bugs in your house.

First, become aware of your surroundings when you’re out in public. Although bed bugs could be anywhere, they favor certain kinds of areas, such as cracks and crevices and the seams of upholstered furniture. Places that make it easier to hide will be more appealing to bed bugs since they don’t like being out in the open and they are generally nocturnal.

With this in mind, when you are in a public place, avoid sitting on furniture with fabric coverings. Don’t place your purse or other bags down in areas where bed bugs might be hiding in nearby cracks or crevices and could easily crawl onto your bag.

If you are staying in a hotel or motel, you’re at a higher risk of bringing bed bugs home with you. Before bringing any of your luggage into your hotel room, check it over for any signs of bed bugs.

  • Lift the sheets off the bed and look along the seams of the mattress, as well as between the mattress and the headboard.

  • Look for the bed bugs themselves, as well as their casings and eggs.

  • Check behind picture frames and in curtains for signs of bed bugs.

  • Look at the bedsheets for any tannish streaks or red pinprick-sized stains.

If you don’t see any signs of bed bugs, you can then bring your luggage inside, but should still keep it up off the floor if possible. It’s also advisable to put your luggage in plastic garbage bags for the duration of your stay.

When you return home, either from being out in public or from being away, check over your clothing before entering your house. Also check through any and all bags, boxes, and luggage you plan to bring inside. If you’ve been on vacation, after checking through your luggage, wash all clothing and dry it on a high heat cycle before returning it to your drawers and closets.

If you are planning to buy used furniture or appliances, check them over with a fine-tooth comb prior to letting them enter your house. Even if you don’t see anything on them, consider having them treated for bed bugs before bringing them inside.

You should also make bed bug inspections of your home a regular occurence. Taking 10-15 minutes every few weeks to look over your house and common bed bug hot spots for any signs of their presence is a small annoyance that can help you avoid the huge annoyance that a large infestation causes.
When checking for bed bugs in your home, do the same things that you would do when checking a hotel room. In addition, you’ll want to look along the seams of any upholstered furniture you own. You may also want to inspect behind outlet covers, as bed bugs frequently use these to gain access to your walls.

What Do I Do If Bed Bugs Get Into My Washington D.C. Home?

Even by employing the very best prevention and inspection methods, there is simply no 100% effective way to keep bed bugs out of your Washington D.C. home. If, during one of your routine inspections, you find signs of a bed bug infestation, the best way to deal with it is to deal with it immediately. Waiting to take action will not only prolong the problem, but will also allow it to grow. The faster you take action, the quicker and more easily effective the results of treatment will be.

Although some people try to eliminate a bed bug infestation on their own, these attempts are rarely successful. Even those who seem to experience some relief usually find that the problem returns several months later. That’s because bed bugs can go deep into hiding when they sense danger and can live for months without food.

Instead of trying to get rid of them on your own, the best thing to do when you find bed bugs in your home is to call American Pest. We have decades of experience eliminating bed bug infestations and we understand the quickest, most effective methods to fully eliminate the problem in D.C. homes.

We’ll begin with a thorough inspection of your home to make sure your pest infestation is truly bed bugs. We’ll also use this time to determine how large the infestation is and whether it has made its way through your entire house or not. If needed, we also can use our specially-trained bed bug detection dogs to sniff out where bed bugs are hiding.

Using safe, eco-friendly thermal remediation is our method of choice to eliminate bed bug infestations. This service takes only one treatment to stop bed bugs in every stage of development, from egg to adult. It also has the added benefit of being able to reach deep within the walls of your house, finding even the bed bugs that conventional treatments might miss. In some instances, we may also spot treat with a liquid treatment after the heat treatment is complete in order to provide added protection.

For the fastest, most effective bed bug control available, contact American Pest today. No one wants bed bugs in their Washington D.C. house and with the help of American Pest, you don’t have to have them in yours.


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