As a continuation of our series on “Tips For Your Tenants” we have compiled a list of ways for your tenants to avoid bed bugs from invading their units. This is extremely valuable as it could save time and money treating infestations that could have been avoided with a few precautions. The lists below outlines some of the places where bed bugs are most often found, how to avoid bringing them home, and a few tools that can help you identify and avoid bed bugs.
Know When You Are At Risk
Here are some of the times and places when you are at the highest risk encountering bed bugs.
While traveling – Hotels and motels are the most common places to find bed bugs. Due to their high traffic and variety of guests bed bugs thrive by hitching rides on visitors. If you are staying in a hotel or motel always search the room before bringing your belongings into the room.
You should also avoid putting your luggage on the bed, even if your search was clean for bed bugs. Always use the luggage rack or table to sit your suitcase. Another tip is to use hard shell luggage which will limit the places where bed bugs can “hang on” and come home with you.
When buying used furniture – When buying used furniture be especially careful to inspect everything thoroughly before bringing it into your home. A rise in bed bug infestations that started with rented or thrift store finds have caused many buyers to require a bed bug inspection and/or treatment before any items are brought into the home.
When visiting friends – If you visit a location that you suspect may have bed bugs there are a few precautions that you can take to avoid bring them home with you. Cover your seats with plastic garbage bags, or remove your clothes and bag them before returning home. Once home leave all bags, clothes and belongings outside or in the garage. Wash and dry all items on high heat immediately.
Inspect children’s bags – Bed bugs love schools and buses almost as much as a warm bed. Schools across the nation have reported bed bug sightings in their classrooms, libraries, and dormitories. Regularly inspect your children’s school bag and the contents for bed bugs. This is especially important if your child attends a camp or overnight activity.
While you are “out and about” – Other common places to find bed bugs include movie theaters, public transportation, furniture stores, thrift stores and your office. Here are a few tips to avoid bed bugs in these locations. Always take a quick look at your seat before sitting down. Consider bringing a small flashlight with you for dark places like the movie theater. Never sit your bag on furniture, always place it on a hard floor or table if possible. Always wash and dry on high heat any items that you pick up at a second hand or thrift store. Keep plastic bags in your vehicle to bag any used items bought at yard sales or thrift stores.
Keep Reference Materials With You
It is a good idea to keep a few tools and reference materials with you at all times in case you think you run into a bed bug. Here is a short list of items that will come in handy.
A small flashlight
A small magnifying glass – preferable one that magnifies at 300%
Bed bug reference photos – Your landlord may have a reference sheet available or you can visit the Convectex social media pages for tips, photos, and facts about bed bugs. (See the social media list below)
Plastic garbage bags – These are a perfect items to keep in your car. Bag any items that you think may have come in contact with bed bugs, OR new items that you haven’t inspected and/or cleaned yet.
Finally, don’t ever be afraid to ask a business about their pest control procedures. Any reputable business should have a pest control plan in place to avoid spreading bugs. Also, if you ever see bed bugs in a public location ALWAYS notify management and leave the area as quickly as possible. Even moving to a new room or location in a building may not be safe and could spread the bugs further. Your best bet is to leave the area and follow the proper procedures for cleaning and inspecting anything that may have come in contact with bed bugs.