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How can people prevent the spread of bed bugs?

 In

Everyone:

  • Check for bed bugs at hotels and refuse to stay in a room showing signs of bed bugs
  • Store luggage on a luggage rack and/or in the bathtub to prevent hitchhikers
  • Never pick up furniture left at the curb or side of the road
  • Avoid any second-hand furniture that is upholstered – stick to plain wood, plastic, or metal, and check the cracks for signs of bed bugs
  • Bag second-hand clothing immediately and wash it before bringing it into your home
  • Cut down on clutter in your house so that any future infestation can be discovered more easily and treated faster

If you visit an infested area:

  • Visit during the day if you can
  • Bring as little with you as possible, and keep it either with you, or in a sealed plastic box, bag, etc. and keep it by the door, not near beds or sofas
  • Don’t sit on beds or sofas – stick to standing or sitting on non-upholstered furniture
  • Check your shoes before you leave
  • Change clothes before entering your home and bag the old clothes in a sealed zip-top bag until they go into the washing machine

 

If you get an infestation:

  • Treat as soon as you discover bed bugs, before their population takes off (or, in apartments, before they spread to other units)
  • Don’t throw away your furniture unless absolutely necessary – it can almost always be treated, including bedding
  • If you have no choice but to discard furniture, make sure to wrap it securely in plastic sheeting, and either write BED BUGS or destroy it so that others don’t use it
  • Don’t give away or share items with others until you have treated your infestation
  • Decontaminate your clothing and other washable items by washing them and then drying them for 30 minutes on medium to high heat
  • Items that can’t be washed but can survive the dryer (shoes, stuffed animals, etc.) can be decontaminated in the dryer for 30 minutes on medium to high heat
  • Check your shoes before leaving your house so that you don’t track bed bugs around
  • Don’t store your backpack, briefcase, etc. near your bed, and leave it in a sealed plastic bag or plastic tote when you go to work or school
  • At school, make sure children don’t intermingle their coats, backpacks, etc. They should stay in individual cubbies, bins, etc.
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