Whether you volunteer at a homeless shelter or drop meals off at people's homes, sharing your time with others is a rewarding experience. However, it is also normal to be apprehensive about being so close to other people since bed bugs are a real threat in most communities. Fortunately, you can continue to serve in your volunteer position while minimizing your risk of dealing with bed bugs by using these tips to avoid a serious infestation affecting your home:
Use Caution With Personal Contact
Bed bugs do not fly or jump from one person to another. Instead, people pick up bed bugs by being in close proximity to an infestation. Sitting on a bed, couch, or another piece of furniture that is infested with bed bugs can lead to one crawling on to your clothing. Once there, it could hitch a ride all the way back to your house. For this reason, it is best to avoid spending too much time sitting on other people's furniture or allowing your body or clothing to come in contact with other people unless you know that they are free from bed bugs.
Change Clothing Before You Get Home
If you do come in contact with a residence or person that you think has bed bugs, it is important to take precautions to avoid bringing them to your house. Ideally, you should keep a change of clothes in your car. This way, you can change clothing before you head home. After you change, put your clothing into a sealed plastic bag until it can be laundered. It is also helpful to inspect your shoes and socks to make sure that a bed bug has not gotten on to those either.
Inspect Your Home Environment Regularly
Catching a bed bug infestation early helps with bed bug removal. For this reason, you will want to check around your mattress seams and bedding at least once a month to make sure that an infestation has not already started. If you do spot, bites on your skin in the morning or identify a bug on your bed, then arrange for pest removal as soon as possible.
The thought of dealing with bed bugs is enough to give you the shivers, but you won't let a little fear stop you from helping others in your community. Staying alert for signs of bed bugs in your volunteer environments and promptly taking action when you suspect an infestation protects you from dealing with serious side effects from bites.