- Be mindful and observant to the potential for bedbugs to be brought into your home.
- Do not bring items into the home from an unknown source, such as furniture from yard sales/antique auctions, used bed or couches, or any items set out for disposal.
- Regularly check your children’s backpacks, lunch bags, diaper bags, blankets, clothing, school books and related items if they attend school or child care.
- Regularly inspect your mattresses, bedding, and rooms in general. Keep clutter to a minimum.
- Vacuum regularly and thoroughly. Place the vacuum bag directly in a trash bag, securely tie and take to a Dumpster or outdoor garbage can.
- Inspect rooms after guests sleep over.
- Inspect and vacuum your vehicle on a regular basis, especially if you carpool with co-workers, or your children’s friends or teammates.
- If you live in an apartment complex/condo, be mindful about bedbugs traveling from another unit. Work closely with landlords to be on the alert for signs of infestation.
- Infestations need to be evaluated and treated by a licensed pest control professional. If you know or think you have bedbugs, don’t delay getting your residence examined by a professional as soon as possible so that your situation can be properly addressed.
In public places:
- Try not to carry in any personal items that you don’t need (shopping bags, purses, jackets) into movie theaters, reception halls, residential facilities or libraries. Leave personal items securely in your trunk.
- Before you go back home, check for bedbugs. Look at everyone’s clothing, shoes, or any other belongings that might have come into contact with an infested surface. Keep a small flashlight with a magnifying glass in the car.
Traveling and staying in hotels:
- Be vigilant when you stay in a hotel. Thoroughly check the room for bedbugs before taking your luggage in. Examine the bed sheets and upper and lower seams of the mattress and box spring, especially along the head of the bed. If accessible, examine the headboard and look at the base boards and wall trim in the room.
- If bedbugs are discovered or any sign of bedbugs–including translucent eggs, small dark spots or smeared blood stains on the seams of the mattress–immediately request another room, preferably in another area of the building.
- Keep your suitcases off the floor. Use a luggage stand, tabletop or other hard surface. Hang clothes and keep suitcases zippered closed. Keep all shopping bags, changes of clothes, and belongings on the table or bureau. Keep everything off the carpeted floor and away from the bed.
- Before returning home, carefully check all personal belongings. Thoroughly inspect the seams of suitcases, backpacks and personal bags.
- If you suspect any bedbug exposure, or if bites, itchy welts or other signs that you were bitten by bedbugs occurred during your stay, pack and securely tie all belongings in heavy duty disposable trash bags for the trip home.
- Upon reaching home, put items directly from the trash bag into the washer and/or dryer. If you can put the item in water, wash it in the washing machine and place it in the dryer on hot (120° or higher). Items such as backpacks or duffel bags can go directly in the dryer.