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How to keep bed bugs out of your home or your rental property…

The Bed Bug
Homeowners Guide

How do I protect my home from bed bugs?

Even if you’ve never had a bed bug experience, you don’t need us to tell you that it’s smart to protect your home – especially if you travel a lot, or host frequent guests.

At The Bed Bug Adviser, our independent team of experts have tested every treatment option, read all the research, and interviewed academic experts to get you the best possible advice so you can stop the problem before it even starts.

26 %
of people are not able to properly identify a bed bug based on samples submitted

Read our Bed Bug Homeowners Guide to staying sane and healthy during the growing threat of bed bugs…

Bed Bug Homeowners Guide 3

The Bed Bug Homeowners Guide to Prevention!

You’re not alone. 

Bed bugs don’t carry disease, but they are very good at getting to your mind. They love to hide in your bed, your safe space. Let me tell you, nothing is worse for a good night’s sleep than knowing there’s bed bugs about.

How do you get bed bugs?

Most often, they hitch a ride on an unsuspecting human; that human might just have stayed in a hotel that had bed bugs, or might have them in their own home and not realize it. Contrary to popular myth, bed bugs aren’t just found in dirty cheap motels – a quick glance at bedbugregistry.org will show you just how widespread the problem is.

If you own a vacation rental and frequently rent it out on Airbnb or other sites, your risk is magnified. More guests = more risk, especially when they may be coming from a hotel or another vacation rental.

There’s a lot of myths about bed bugs that you should know. Read our guide to the most common ones we encountered during our research…

The best way to avoid bed bugs forever…

Bed bugs, true to their name, are most commonly found in or around beds. So naturally, home prevention starts with your bed. The EPA recommends that you use a mattress encasement (good) or a bite barrier (better) to ensure bed bugs don’t hide in your mattress.

But you should also look for other hiding places. Cracks, crevices, even clutter in your home can be a hiding place for bed bugs. Seal off as many small cracks and crevices as possible.

Should you use sprays or traps to kill your bed bugs?

Short answer: No.

Sprays are only effective if you can actually find the bugs, which is the real problem. Bed bugs are so good at hiding that sprays which kill on contact will only be able to get rid of, at most, 10% of an infestation. Not only that but many sprays – including rubbing alcohol – are actually really dangerous to humans.

Traps don’t present a danger, but they aren’t very effective. As traps get dirty over time with dust, pet hair, human hair, or whatever else may be in your bedroom, the bugs become able to overcome the traps. You’d have to clean them every day to make them even somewhat effective. And even then, there’s no guarantee of safety. Bed bugs can still transfer to your sleeping area by hitching a ride on your clothes, your pet, a pillow that fell off the side of the bed, or the comforter that touches the ground at night.

Protect your sleeping area first, and work outward. And don’t forget to protect your health – dealing with bed bugs can give you something akin to PTSD.

How to protect your bed…

For the best protection for your mattress and the people sleeping on it, try our HomeGuard Bite Barrier, designed to protect any size bed. Once it’s installed under your standard bed linens, it’s invisible – and easily machine washable, which will kill any bed bugs trapped inside.

It’s not just there to protect your mattress – it also keeps bed bugs from biting you.

You can see the rest of our recommended products here.

If you have had bed bugs, they can affect your mental health.

If you’ve already dealt with an infestation, you know this already.

At Bed Bug Adviser, victims tell us about PTSD-like symptoms all the time. Often, they’re surprised and embarrassed that a little bug can cause paranoia and make you feel unsafe.

It’s very common to feel like you’re getting phantom bites, or to have more trouble getting to sleep. Several victims we talked to felt like they needed to burn everything they owned (you don’t, but we understand the impulse) and you can end up feeling disoriented, unsafe, and paranoid.

Let’s recap…

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bed bugs – especially if you’re the owner of a vacation rental or Airbnb. You don’t want your guests going through that.

Don’t use sprays or traps. They’re mostly ineffective and a waste of money.

Protect beds & guests with a mattress encasement or a bite barrier. We made the best bite barrier on the market, which will not only protect your mattress but also keep the bed’s occupants from getting bitten.

Bed bugs often affect your mental health. Don’t underestimate your own health needs; take a few steps to protect yourself with our health recommendations.

We founded the Bed Bug Adviser to provide the best, most up-to-date information about bed bug prevention and treatment. If there’s a question we haven’t answered in this guide, please let us know below.

Until then, we hope this helps you sleep tight tonight.

If you own and rent out an Airbnb or any vacation rental property, protecting your space is even more important.

Already been exposed to bed bugs?

Get free access to our Bed Bug Victim Guide to learn the best next steps.

“It would be weird for you not to be freaked out! If you have bed bugs, and if you don’t care, that’s not a normal reaction. You should be worried. I would consider it a normal reaction to a stressor.”

-Stéphane Perron, University of Montreal

What are our customers saying about our products?

  • I was on an Airbnb Facebook group reading over the different posts where hosts share their different problems or questions and I kept seeing the bed bug issue come up, and one person said 'I don't know what to do, this is a disaster' and nothing I was reading in the comments was satisfying. It was pretty jarring and I thought as we're scaling this up I really need to do something preventative there and I just didn't know what to do. But then I met Brian the Bed Bug Adviser and learned a lot about how to deal with them and protect myself.

    Caroline Y.
    Caroline Y. Airbnb Property Manager and Traveler
  • What I like about the TravelGuard is that it's literally just a sheet, it's not bulky or anything like that, it's as easy to pack as a sheet, you can roll it, you can fold it down. There are more times than you think that you end up needing something like the TravelGuard.

    Caroline Y.
    Caroline Y. Airbnb Manager and Traveler

Questions about fighting bed bugs?

The Bed Bug Adviser answers a new question a week over at our FAQ – check it out here and submit YOUR question below.

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