Bed bugs are nasty little hitchhikers who will cadge a ride into your home on clothing, used furniture, cardboard boxes, luggage — anything they’ve come in contact with. You can pick them up at a hotel on your next business trip. You can get them from a cab or an airplane seat that was just used by an infested person. So how do you keep them from getting into your home and making your life miserable? Take these steps to help keep your home bed bug-free:
- Don’t bring an old mattress, box springs, sofa, carpeting or other secondhand items into your home. If you see it on the street, leave it there.
- When you check into a hotel, pull back the bedding. Inspect the mattress seams and headboard area. If you find tiny black specks, ask for another room or change hotels. Make sure your new room is not directly above or below the infested room; that’s the first place bed bugs will spread.
- When traveling, put your suitcase on a rack, not the floor. Don’t put it on the bed where bed bugs might crawl in. When you get home, unpack away from your bed and don’t store your suitcase in the bedroom. If you use a soft carryall, give it a quick spin in a hot dryer.