If you have bed bugs in your home, the most important thing to do is contact a pest control company to exterminate them. These bugs are resilient and hard to get rid of completely. Do-it-yourself approaches often fall short, and professionals know how to get rid of the bugs faster and more effectively.

What you should do next is figure out how the bed bugs likely entered your home so you can avoid reintroducing them again in the future. Look at four primary ways in which bed bugs enter a home.

1. Bedbugs May Enter With Used Furniture

If you recently bought used furniture, the bed bugs could have hitched a ride with it. The furniture’s previous owner got rid of it for a reason, and sometimes that reason is that they’ve had a bed bug infestation.

Never pick up furniture that has randomly been left by the side of the road or in a dumpster; it’s quite likely to carry bed bugs. Avoid buying used upholstered furniture too. Even if it has been steam cleaned, it may harbor bed bugs. The steam does not fully penetrate the upholstery, so it won’t kill bugs that have burrowed further into the stuffing.

If you want to buy used furniture, opt for hard items made from wood, melamine, and other cleanable materials. Do clean these items and check these surfaces for bed bugs before bringing them into your home — bed bugs do sometimes hide in lamps, wooden tables, and hard chairs.

2. Bed Bugs May Come From a Hotel

Did you recently stay in a hotel, at a bed and breakfast, or at a friend’s house? You may have brought bed bugs home with you — it only takes two to start a whole infestation. Even luxurious, high-end hotels have had problems with bed bugs, so you must be extremely vigilant when you travel.

  • Inspect your room and bed for bed bugs before you settle in or sit on the bed. Look especially along the mattress seams and behind the headboard.
  • Keep your suitcase far from the bed, and zip your bag closed between uses.
  • Bring your clothing and other soft items home in sealed bags. Wash them in 120-degree water and dry them on high immediately after returning home.

If you do find bed bugs in a hotel or another accommodation, do not unpack anything. Find an alternative place to stay, and ask for a refund.

3. Bed Bugs May Come With a Guest

If you recently had a guest in your home, they may have brought bed bugs with them. To prevent future guests from spreading bed bugs to your home, follow these guidelines.

  • Avoid stacking guests’ coats and clothing on your bed.
  • Have guests leave their shoes at the door. Vacuum the mat underneath the shoes after your guests leave.
  • Launder all bedding and furniture slipcovers in hot water after guests come into contact with them.

If you are hosting a guest who you know has bed bugs in their home, ask them to change into clean clothing once they arrive, launder their clothing, and use a mattress encasement to protect your guest bed during their stay. People who have had bed bugs know what a hassle they are and will understand your need to take these precautions.

4. Bed Bugs May Enter From a Neighboring Apartment

If you live in an apartment building, the bed bugs could have entered your apartment from a neighboring one. The bugs sometimes hide between the walls and crawl into neighboring apartments through the outlets. In addition to hiring a pest control company, in this case, talk to your landlord and neighbors. If other residents have bed bugs, the best approach is to have all apartments treated at once.

If you think bed bugs might be coming from a neighboring apartment, move your bed and other furniture away from the walls. Encase your mattress in plastic, and ask your landlord to caulk openings or crevices in the walls.

The information above will help you keep bed bugs from coming back after treatment. Contact Environmental Services Pest Control, LLC , if you are dealing with bed bugs in the Montgomery County area.