Bed bugs are incredibly annoying pests to deal with. If you are at this article today, odds are, you have found some within your home and are doing an immense amount of research. It is understandable, as it is common knowledge they are tough to get rid of in your home. You may be wondering, how can you keep bed bugs from spreading to other rooms?
There is no way you can prevent bed bugs from spreading to other rooms within your home. This is because bed bugs are hunters, and they will do everything they can to feed themselves and their colonies.
Although that may be the last thing you want to hear, fear not! There are many ways you can prevent bed bugs from entering your home and minimize their activity. Read on to find more information.
How Do You Keep Bed Bugs From Spreading To Other Rooms?
As mentioned previously, there is no definite way you can prevent bed bugs from entering your room. However, you can take these preventative measures to keep them away from you as much as humanly possible.
1. Keep The Clutter Away
Even the cleanest person or family is not entirely immune to having some clutter in your room of choice, ranging from a small pile of clothes to a leftover backpack. Each of these various forms of clutter can become a nest to a colony of bed bugs.
While from the outside looking in, such minor forms of clutter may not seem like that big of a deal or even something to consider, bed bugs are, by nature, a reclusive and nesting parasite. They are typically making lodgings in the seams of clothing, beds, backpacks, and curtains. Truthfully anywhere they can hide for a while.
Removing this excess clutter and taking one extra option away from them can make all the difference in the world in the fight against these bloodthirsty creatures.
Ensuring that you are hanging your clothes, placing backpacks up high, putting toys and other knick-knacks in their respective places will make the bed bugs finding that sweet spot of 8 feet from your bed that much more challenging.
Another reason to steer clear of the mess is that these mounds can provide ramps and ladders if you will for the bed bugs to get up and around to you in various other methods. While they are incredibly versatile in what they can and can’t climb, keeping them at bay utilizing this method is imperative if you want to fight the good fight without pulling your hair out!
2. Stay Away From Second-hand Furniture
While the allure of a good discount is always tempting, it’s much wiser to pay the total price or to go to a reputable dealer of semi-used furniture. This is because any furniture can be a potential breeding ground for bed bugs.
The more historically versed of us may want to view buying second-hand furniture as utilizing the Trojan Horse method. When you get this new piece of furniture cheap because it’s used, you pay the total price for the extermination required to get rid of your newfound tenants.
Sadly not only will these foul creatures not pay rent, but they will potentially cost you thousands trying to get rid of them and countless sleepless nights.
As with any precautionary search for bed bugs, if you aren’t going to be dissuaded by this alone, you want to pull back all seams, searching for the small black spots hidden in the crevices that indicate bed bugs or their eggs/droppings.
If you still wish to get second-hand furniture, make sure to toss the clothes you were shopping with directly into the washer. Then, use the highest heat settings on both your washer and dryer to kill any potential freeloaders that may have hitched a ride home.
3. Vacuum Everyday
Once you have bed bugs, to say it alters how you perceive your surroundings is an understatement. It develops into a powerful sense of paranoia and a need to obsessively clean due to how disgusting an infestation feels in your life.
Vacuuming every day helps prevent stragglers and collect any residual eggs that may be lying dormant on your carpet or on the floor.
Another big reason for this would be that most of the well-known “treatments” for bed bugs use excessive powders and other different kinds of pesticides, and these are certainly not elements you want lying dormant in your living quarters.
Make good use of the tube attachment on your vacuum cleaner to hit those hard to reach places and seams (especially all along your bed, the bed frame, and edges of where your bed frame meets the floor) to ensure you are leaving little to no room for them to nest. Every extra bit of effort you put into these measures makes it that much harder for the bed bugs to thrive.
4. Use Bed Bug Protective Covers
This topic in itself will have a lot of varying opinions, especially for those who have been in a situation where you’ve had to use one.
Let’s start with the basics; bed bug protective covers known on the market work well in fighting bed bug infestations. They seal your entire mattress inside this case and preventing additional bed bugs from coming out, thus causing them to starve to death inside it eventually. The problem here is, most people who have had to use them don’t put the encasement on correctly or, worse, don’t seal it up all the way, so make sure to read the instructions thoroughly.
Here are some other benefits of the encasements:
- It includes the ability to keep your old bed, which considers how costly a bed bug infestation can be and is a blessing in itself.
- It is a community-friendly choice because you would not have to discard the mattress in its entirety. Mattresses are expensive, so having the ability to keep the one you have, especially if you like it, is excellent.
- Finally, you can use the encasement on any replacement mattresses you get to keep them from being riddled with pests, making a helpful stand-in and barrier during the fight to get rid of bed bugs.
5. Keep Your Bed Away From The Walls
This one may come off as more evident than the other notes, but it is straightforward in practice. Moving your bed away from the walls cuts off another possible entry point onto your mattress. In doing so, you stem just how many bed bugs can get onto it and route the infestation partially by cutting an easy feeding method for them.
Although this may come as a surprise to most, bed bugs are knowledgeable hunters for their size. Some cases have documented bed bugs climbing up a wall and onto the roof to fall onto unsuspecting people. How they can do this is another reason why these creatures are so revolting.
6 Use Plastic Under Your Bed & Other Objects
Another thing to take into account is using plastic cups underneath the legs of your bed frames. Bed bugs cannot climb on plastic, so anything that has to do with this is significant. You can use regular cheap plastic cups at the local store, but the problem with these is that they will break eventually. On the contrary, you can use bed bug interceptors that are easy to purchase online.
Anything else in the house with legs should have plastic wrapped around it if possible. This means chairs, tables, toys, etc. You can make it with plastic wrap or plastic storage bags, then seal it up with a rubber band or something to tie it together. Make sure to check it regularly to ensure it did not break.
7. Seal Cracks & Crevices In Walls
All too often, we want to focus heavily on the bed or some aspect of the flooring when we think of combating a bed bug infestation, but these pests are resourceful in their nesting habits. Like we spoke of before, they will hide anywhere possible to get a good ambush, and cracks, holes, and crevices in your walls are no exception.
After a good feeding, bed bugs will retreat into places like this to lay their eggs and prepare another generation of these fiends in places where you would typically never look. Some of the most prominent places for these spots would be between the skirting of your walls and peeling paint. Remember, any slight opening can be a potential home and should be checked while utilizing any form of treatment against the bed bugs.
8. Inspect Sleeping Areas During Travel
Bed bugs are incredibly resourceful parasites, often using us as mere transportation to get to the next feeding point, and sleeping areas are one of the biggest hotspots for infestation you can find.
Because of the high traffic and lack of time or energy to properly check these locations, bed bugs are most prominent in places like these. Once an infestation is active, bed bugs in that location constantly wait for someone to stop for a while to hitch a ride on luggage or your clothes.
Before hunkering down and resting at one of these places, you want to check the edges of seats, beds, under a nightstand, and in some cases, light sockets.
9. Use A Bag Stand In Hotels
Traditionally speaking, bag stands are overlooked pretty often. Still, once you become aware of the threat of bed bugs, these once semi-useless stands now have a glorious purpose, that purpose being another line of defense in the ongoing war to keep your home bed bug-free.
The elevation provided by these makes your precious cargo much less likely to be targeted by bed bugs. The metal coating offered by most bag stands is hard for them to climb in the first place. Due to the frames almost always having wheels or being light enough to maneuver around easily, you can ensure to some degree they are relatively safe from bed bug threats.
This should be viewed as a layer of defense, so as we stated above, inspect your room cautiously. If you see bed bugs, don’t stay in that room, or that hotel, really. This won’t keep you safe from them if they are easily visible infestations.
10. Inspect Luggage & Clothes Before Going Home
We briefly went over this one earlier, but this is just par for the course. Regardless of where you go, what hotel you stay at, or even if you are incredibly nocturnal and didn’t sleep for whatever reason, make it a priority to inspect the in’s and out’s of your luggage before going home.
Those same seams we spoke of before need to be checked, but make sure you are moving any straps, unzipping zippers, shuffling every corner of your luggage, and doing your absolute best to guarantee you don’t have any spare hitchhikers in your cargo.
You can add one more stop to this same concept by checking your luggage on your porch or yard before going directly into your home if you want to be double sure of things.
11. Keep Clothes In Plastic Bags At Laundromats
Ah yes, the local laundromat, a great place to get some extra chores knocked out in a hurry, and yet another vector of transmission if you aren’t careful. Keeping your articles of clothing in plastic bags will protect you against any bed bugs that may be dormant in the laundromat itself.
At first glance, you may think to yourself, the excess heat from that many people, let alone the dryers, would kill all but the most resilient of bed bugs. However, some people are unaware of the pest or do not have the means to combat them properly.
As such, they can be at your feet, seeing as piles of clothes are but another means of transportation to the bugs. Taking this step is a must if your only means of doing laundry is the laundromat, and while it is a hassle, rest assured, getting rid of bed bugs is far more annoying to deal with than some extra bagging.
12. Keeps Sheets On Your Bed
This concept takes the encasements and the above plastic bag method and combines them, although much lesser. Keeping sheets on your bed gives just a paper-thin layer of protection to the bed bug infestation, but anything is better than nothing, so it’s worth doing.
Bed bugs dedicate getting into the seams of your actual mattress because it’s essentially a drive-thru for them. The second you go to sleep, one hop, skip, and a jump, and they will get their meal and be back into that seam before the sun is up, along with however many cousins they have there.
The sheet will make that journey take a little longer and give you time to check in the mornings if there are any hiding back there and mitigate just how many should be able to make this journey.
How Fast Do Bed Bugs Spread In Your Home?
While this question is rather difficult to provide an approximate answer, there are some relatively simple numbers we can look at to get a better gauge on how fast they can spread.
How Many People Are In Your Home?
Ultimately, you need to take a few different things into account: how many people are in the home? The more inhabitants or hosts in the situation you have, the quicker they can spread. This is because the bed bugs can hitch a ride on people unsuspectedly and provide yet another meal.
How You’re Handling The Situation
The next thing to take into consideration would be how you are handling the infestation you know of. If you migrate from one infested room to another to escape the previous infestation, that’s just spreading it faster, for maybe one extra good night’s sleep cost.
Reproductive Systems Of Bed Bugs
Finally, let’s talk about the reproductive numbers of the bed bugs themselves. Your average mature bed bug can lay several eggs per day, but this number can vary anywhere between 200 and 500 across a lifetime.
If you saw 5 bed bugs and assumed they were all female, that could be in a best-case scenario, 1,000 bed bugs in their time, or worst outcome, well over 2,500 bed bugs. This is an alarming set of numbers and one of the primary reasons a bed bug infestation causes such unease in so many people.
We’ve spoken on how terrible it is to get these things and how you can attempt to prevent them from spreading, but let’s get into the nitty-gritty details and talk about eradicating them. It’s worth noting that almost any solution to a bed bug problem is costly, and the bottom line is that your best option is to go directly to a professional.
The reason being, despite the cost, you get someone experienced in this fierce battle, and secondly, most professionals offer some manner of guarantee to the treatment. If you choose to fight alone, you can quickly end up investing thousands of dollars to ultimately see no end to the problem and need to rely on a professional at the end of the day.
1. Heat Treatment
As the name implies, this form of treatment relies on the bed bugs’ weakness to excessive amounts of heat to kill them, and more importantly, their eggs and stem the bed bug population at the route of the cause.
Some methods include using multiple portable heaters, while others use other devices to replicate, increasing the entire household’s heat to upwards of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is by far one of the best treatment options because there is nowhere the bugs can hide from the heat, unlike other methods using scents, or oils, or even pesticides in some cases.
It’s worth noting that to do the heating method, you will need to remove anything that may not withstand these high levels of heat without suffering some form of damage, which details making sure those items themselves are not housing bugs. For more information, we provided you with a link above, or look at this 5-minute video.
2. Pesticide Treatment
As the name suggests, this method uses a mixture of chemicals that the bugs are weak to and will eventually kill them and their eggs.
This method is much more open to debate, primarily because it would rely on you hitting every nook and cranny without exception to guarantee the pests are gone, any mistakes, and it’s back to square one.
For more information, here is yet another video explaining it in video form:
3. Call A Professional
By far the most reasonable choice, primarily because it’s a failsafe, the bugs will be gone, and if not, for lack of better wording, it would be someone else’s problem.
Like we discussed above, professional’s almost always come with some guarantee that their treatment will get rid of them entirely. Due to this, it’s better to go to a professional than roll the dice with a DIY treatment that just costs you money and time.
To summarize everything, bed bugs are a horrendous problem and a financial burden no one should have to endure. Still, if you find yourself surrounded by these fiends, this article has hopefully armed you with the information and sources to fight the good fight and make your home the comfortable place it should be.