Now that the holidays and spring break are over, travel season is slowing down; but that doesn’t mean that bed bug season is too. Bed bugs are active year-round. Even though you may not be travelling, guests coming to your home can bring bed bugs in too. Bed bugs are nuisance pests that are extremely difficult to get rid of. They are notorious hitchhikers, most commonly catching a ride on bags, purses, luggage, and wheelchairs, but they can also be found on clothing. Anyone can bring bed bugs into your home – an unexpected house guest, your spouse returning from an out of town work trip, or even your child coming home for a visit from college. Once bed bugs have gotten into your home, professional bed bug control is your best option to get rid of them. However, there are things you can do to help keep guests from bringing these pests into your home.

  1. Don’t put any guests’ coats or bags on the bed. Instead, clean out your front closet and use it to store coats and bags. Make sure to vacuum it immediately after your guests leave.
  2. If there isn’t ample closet space for your guests, place a sheet under the stored bags and coats and once the guests leave, put the sheet in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Ask your visitors to immediately change into clean clothes when they enter the house.
  4. Launder all of their clothing on their arrival.
  5. Store their suitcases and bags in a plastic bag or box that can be sealed.
  6. Wipe their shoes down with a damp cloth with hot water or place them in the dryer if possible.
  7. Encase mattresses on guest beds with bed bug encasements.
  8. If your guests are sleeping on the couch, place a sheet over it and launder it immediately after your guests leave. Vacuum the couch, as well.
  9. Ask your guests to remove their shoes and keep them on a plastic mat by the door. Once they leave, clean the mat thoroughly.
  10. Use slipcovers on all of your furniture and launder them on high heat immediately after your guests leave.
  11. If your guests bring gifts, launder or clean anything that can be washed; wipe down wood or plastic items with a damp cloth.
  12. Bag, seal, and dispose of any packing boxes or wrapping paper immediately.
  13. Report any known cases of bed bugs to the bed bug registry.
  14. Call a pest control professional if you suspect you have a bed bug problem.

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