I know what you’re thinking, “Don’t say it! Not my bed!”
I said the same thing. I get goose bumps, and cringe at the very idea of bugs sleeping in my bed with me. But here’s the truth, it’s a very real possibility that you could bring bed bugs into your home. Here’s a couple ways how.
- Buying stuffed animals from yard sales or thrift stores.
- Buying used upholstered furniture or mattresses.
- Bringing them home on your clothes.
- Bringing them home in your luggage, this is common if you are a traveler.
It’s a horrifying reality and it’s happening to many families. The worst part still is that once bed bugs infect your home, they are terribly inconvenient to remove.
I once watched a program on television on bed bugs, and how many times they get into a person’s home through refurbished mattresses. There are actually companies that will buy old mattresses and “rebuild” them to make them like new. Or at least that’s what they claim. The program I watched showed that in reality, these companies stripped off the top layer of the fabric and added a new one. In doing so, anything beneath, bodily liquids, dirt, or bugs, were still trapped inside. It was absolutely disgusting. Yet, people were still ignorantly buying these mattresses because (surprise, surprise!) they were incredibly cheap!
I didn’t want to sleep for days after I discovered all of this. Terrified that bugs could be crawling beneath my sheets disgusted me on a level I could not describe to you. But here’s what I learned:
Because bed bugs can follow you through secondhand items, be sure to inspect them. Check used mattresses or upholstered furniture carefully before bringing them into your home. You should also take precautions when heading to a hotel. Check mattress seams for bedbug excrement and place your luggage on tables or dressers instead of on the floor.
- Apartment complexes
- Homeless shelters
- Military barracks
- Refugee camps
Now of course I’m no expert of the removal of bed bugs. But I did find some ways that you can try to remove them. If you do find some, take heart in knowing that it’s not necessarily because your home is dirty. Bed bugs aren’t picky about their environment. All they need is a warm place to hide. Even the most pristine homes and hotels can harbor bedbugs. Try these tricks to get rid of these pests.
- Vacuuming. A thorough vacuuming of cracks and crevices can physically remove bedbugs from an area. But vacuum cleaners can’t reach all hiding places.
- Hot water. Washing clothes and other items in water at least 120 F (49 C) can kill bedbugs.
- Using a clothes dryer. Placing wet or dry items in a clothes dryer set at medium to high heat for 20 minutes will kill bedbugs and their eggs.
- Freezing. Bedbugs are also vulnerable to temperatures below 32 F (0 C), but you’d need to leave the items outdoors or in the freezer for several days.
- Throw away your mattress. Once infested, it is unlikely you will ever be able to remove all the bugs and their eggs. They will only spread through the rest of your home.