Bed Bugs Prevention

Note: Don’t forget to have a look at the Identify Bed Bugs page as well as the part at the bottom “What NOT to do” part.

  1. Know how to identify a bed bug.
  2. Understand the ways in which bed bugs are able to get into your home. 
    1. Bed bugs enter a home through many possible ways, the most common being hitching a ride on your luggage, computer, clothing or other belongings after you have stayed somewhere else, or traveled where bed bugs are present, including on public transportation. Moving time is another possible way to get into a new home, as they catch a ride in the moving boxes.
  3. Check for bed bugs before unpacking during a trip away from home. Change rooms or hotels immediately if you see any evidence of bed bugs.
    1. Pull back the sheets from the mattress and look for bugs along the seams or tiny blood spots on the mattress.
    2. Look along the edges of the box springs and in the seams of the bedding.
    3. Inspect the headboard and behind it.
    4. Examine wood or upholstered furniture, especially along crevices and seams. Bed bugs seem to prefer wood and fabric to plastic and metal.
    5. Don’t put your baggage on the bed. Use the suitcase holder if provided, or leave your luggage in the bath tub or outside until you have inspected the room.
  4. Take care of bed bugs that may have hitched a ride on clothing.
    1. Separate laundry into plastic bags so the clothes can be placed directly in the washer without bugs escaping. Wash and dry the clothes on the highest setting that the fabric can withstand or take items to the dry cleaners.
    2. Undress on a hard surface floor rather than on carpet if you suspect bed bugs are on your clothing. Bed bugs do not travel on people like lice do. Wipe off the floor to capture any bed bugs that fall off the clothes.
  5. Inspect luggage and other personal items for bed bugs.
    1. Vacuum off luggage and items that cannot be washed. Hand wash other items with hot, soapy water. Use a brush to scrub items, especially where bugs and eggs may be hiding in the seams and folds.
  6. Take care when bringing used furniture and clothing into your house. Wash clothing immediately. Furniture, however, should be inspected carefully before even bringing it into your home:
    1. Check the crevices, behind moldings and other embellishments, and any cracks.
    2. Avoid bringing home used mattresses.
    3. Wash and dry all soft furnishings, such as curtains, at high temperatures before using.