As is true with any household pest in Canada, a proactive approach is always the best way to go. If you can find the discipline to take necessary preventative measures required to avoid a bed bug infestation, you will potentially be saving yourself the psychological distress associated with the realities of dealing with a bed bug infestation and, of course, the high cost of hiring a bed bug exterminator.
Keep in mind though, that no matter how many of these preventative measure you take, there really is no way of completely eliminating your chance of having bed bugs infest your home, but you can significantly reduce those chances. With the constant increase of bed bug infestation reports across Canada over the past decade, coming in contact with these horrible pests is a possible scenario for any homeowner, no matter what demographic sector you belong to.
In the remainder of this article you will find some tips that will significantly reduce your likelihood of having your home infested by bed bugs.
How Do Bed Bugs Get Into Homes?
Before going into the bed bug prevention tips, it is important to understand how they can invade your home in the first place. They are very sneaky creatures who have an incredible ability to hide in unsuspecting places, which is made easy by their tiny body size.
Hitchhiking Bed Bugs
One thing that bed bugs are notoriously well known for is their ability to secretly hitch rides on unsuspecting victims clothing or luggage. If you are unlucky to pick them up and bring them into your home, they will quickly find a good hiding spot multiplying and spreading before you even notice that they are present.
They usually latch on to victims clothing and baggage in places with high traffic such as:
- short term accommodations such as hotels, hostels and guesthouses
- public transit stations and vehicles
- restaurants, bars and movie theaters
Watch Out For Second Hand Furniture
Although acquiring second hand furniture can be a great way to save some money, by doing so you are highly increasing your likelihood of bringing bed bugs into your home. If the second hand furniture you are getting is from a previously infested home it is almost certain that bed bugs will be hiding somewhere in that furniture.
Since there is really no way of being 100% sure if the furniture was in a bed bug infested home, your best bet is to stay away from second hand furniture unless you are confident of the source it is coming from. You may be saving money in the short term, but in the long run you will be spending lots more on exterminating bed bugs from your home.
Moving Between Adjacent Apartments
Another way bed bugs have been known to invade homes is by simply crawling from one apartment to another through small spaces like vents and pipes. This one is very difficult to avoid and really should be the responsibility of your landlord or superintendent to insure that all bed bug infestations are handled accordingly. Before moving to a new apartment, check a local bed bug registry to make sure they haven’t had previous bed bug issues and ask neighbors or the landlord if any occurrences have happened in the past.
How To Prevent A Bed Bug Infestation
As you can see, bed bugs can invade your home in many different ways which, aside from acquiring second hand furniture, can not be completely avoided. Even if you inspect all of your clothing and baggage after being out and about, which is not a realistic endeavor, or do your research before moving into a new apartment, there is no way of ensuring that one of your neighbors doesn’t eventually unknowingly bring bed bugs into their home.
What you can do, however, is make it difficult for bed bugs to hide in your home and do periodic inspections of your home so that if they do somehow sneak in, you catch them in the early phase of an infestation making it much easier and cheaper to exterminate. Here are some tips on how you can do this:
- keep your home tidy, removing clutter in sleeping areas to minimize potential bed bug hiding spots
- thoroughly inspect any second hand furniture that your bring into your home, paying special attention to seams and other small crevices
- avoid bringing bed bugs home from a trip by thoroughly inspecting your clothing and luggage when returning home
- periodically check your mattress, bed frame and other bed bug hiding spots