You brought bed bugs home from your last hotel stay, which required a visit from the local exterminator. Hotels are notorious for having bed bug infestations. You can't avoid hotels, but you can avoid the problems associated with them. Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid a repeat infestation.
Bag up Your Clothes
The next time you check into a hotel, make sure your clothing is properly prepared. Avoid placing your clothing in the hotel dressers. Instead, hand them up in the closet. When you take your clothes off, avoid placing them on the bed, floor or upholstered chairs. Those are the areas where bed bugs are most likely to be found.
Instead, fold them and place them in a plastic bag. When you get home, remove the clothes from the bag and wash them immediately. This will kill any bugs that might have found their way onto your clothing.
Isolate Your Luggage
Once you've gotten home and emptied your luggage, place it outside and vacuum it inside and out. Be sure to run the edge attachment inside the pockets and along the seams of your luggage. Place your luggage inside a large black plastic bag, seal it tight and set it aside for several days. The heat inside the bag will kill any bed bugs that might have stowed away in your luggage.
Spray Your Mattresses
If you travel a lot, it's a good idea to treat your mattresses at least once a week. This will protect your bedding in between visits by the pest control company. Fill a spray bottle with water and add ½ cup of bleach. Remove the sheets and spray your mattress with the solution. Allow your mattress to dry for several hours. Vacuum the entire mattress and put your sheets back on the bed.
Watch Garage Sale Purchases
You might not realize this, but some garage sale items can also carry bed bugs. To prevent bringing the critters home from a garage sale, avoid purchasing upholstered items and stuffed animals. If you do purchase small stuffed animals, you can isolate them for several days before using them. Simply place them in a black plastic bag and set them aside for several days. Once you bring them out of the bag, run them through the hot cycle of your clothes dryer.
Bed bugs are no laughing matter. If you find them in your home, you should have an exterminator come out for bed bug treatment. To prevent repeat infestations, use the safety precautions described above.