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The best way to control bed bugs is to never get them in the first place. Follow these tips to keep your home or office bed bug free.

  • Using a flashlight, regularly inspect beds — including pet beds — in your house. Check sheets, mattresses, headboards, nightstands, upholstered furniture, baseboards, electrical sockets, carpets and picture frames, paying special attention to seams and crevices.
  • Look for reddish or brownish spots or the bed bugs themselves—flat, brown, oval insects ¼ to 3/8th of an inch long (5-9mm).
  • When not feeding or foraging, bed bugs gather together in tight, dark spaces. When inspecting, pay special attention to mattress folds and seams, behind furniture and frames, and along cracks and crevices in floors.
  • Keep clutter around beds to a minimum so you can easily check for bed bugs, and so that bed bugs have fewer places to hide.
  • When traveling, consider storing your suitcase in a large plastic bag or in the tub. Do not put your suitcase or bags on the bed. Also, do not place worn bed clothes directly into your suitcase. Place them in a plastic bag instead.
  • At hotels, inspect the sheets and mattress seams for stains or spots before unpacking.  If you see any evidence of bed bugs, notify management and change rooms or hotels. If you change rooms, make sure it is not an adjacent room.
  • After traveling, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing, or use a hand steamer to steam your luggage. Wash all clothes in hot water (120 degrees F) and dry on high heat. Delicate clothes can be placed in the freezer (32 degrees or colder) for several days. 
  • Teach college students what to look for when moving into a dorm, and inspect any clothes, furniture, suitcases or backpacks before students return to your home.
  • Seek professional help. If you think you have bed bugs, contact a professional pest control company. If you try to treat bed bugs yourself, you may not control the entire infestation and/or you could use products improperly and cause harm to yourself, family and pets. 
  • If you suspect you have an infestation, contact your pest management professional and ask him/her to install Verifi bed bug detectors.