Bed bugs are disgusting little creatures that invade their way into your home and make themselves comfortable in your mattress. While you are sleeping, they make their way out of their hiding spots in your mattress to feast on your body. Gross! It seems like there have been many more outbreaks of bedbugs lately, and the thought of getting them in my house scares the pants off me. Ick. I’m doing everything I can to prevent bringing bedbugs in my house, and you should too! I think it is much easier to prevent bedbugs than it is to get rid of them. I know someone once who had gotten bed bugs and had to trash all their mattresses and buy new ones. That’s not frugal or green! I’ll share with you some of the tips we use to prevent bed bugs.
-When staying at a hotel, we make sure to leave all our belongings out in the hallway before taking them into a room. Usually I’ll have Mr. Money hang out in the hallway with everything while I do a twice over of the room. Bed bugs like to hide in the cracks and seams of the mattresses, so it’s important to pull back the sheets and check for them there.
-If you go shopping and buy new towels, clothing, or linens, be sure to wash and dry them before you wear or use them. When buying things from the thrift store, be sure to check before you buy. That would be so gross if you took home bed bugs on the clothes! If you put the items in the dryer with heat for at least 20 minutes, that should kill anything that is lingering on the fabric. I make sure to wash everything I bring in in the washer with a cup of vinegar and then dry in the dryer. You’ll not only kill any germs, but you’ll also help remove any toxins from the fabric!
-Bed bugs like warm areas. They will crawl into laptops, netbooks, or other electronic devices to be warm. Be sure to check your electronic devices before taking them back into your house after you take them somewhere.
-If you think you may have picked up bed bugs, take all of your items into an area that has a hard floor where you can see the bed bugs. Bed bugs don’t travel on people like lice or fleas, so they’ll fall to the floor.
-Don’t buy second hand mattresses. While this is a money saving and green option, I wouldn’t take the risk right now. Of course, if it’s someone you know that’s selling or giving away a mattress, I’d probably be fine with it. Getting a free mattress off Freecycle or Craigslist? I think I’ll pass. The chances of getting bed bugs from a second hand mattress creeps me out more than spending a little extra money and buying new.
If you exercise common sense and caution, you’ll probably avoid the bed bugs. Have you heard of the bed bug infestation? Do you make sure you check for bed bugs before you go into a hotel room?