What are the key things people can do to manage bed bugs?Bedbugs are found in temperate and tropical climates worldwide. Bedbugs generally hide in the seams and crevices of mattresses and box springs, bed frames, old furniture, and in spaces underneath baseboards or behind loose wallpaper. Clutter and disarray also provide additional hiding places for bedbugs. Bedbugs may be transported from one location to another via luggage, furniture, clothing, and used mattresses. Although they are often associated with unsanitary living conditions, bedbugs are also found in clean, well-maintained living quarters. Bedbug infestations have been increasingly reported in hotels, dormitories, homes, apartments, nursing homes, jails, and hospitals.
It is a good idea to check the following areas for bed bug activity:
- Any rooms that are used a lot such as sitting rooms, bed rooms, offices
- Bed heads
- Mattresses, including around any seams, under buttons, top and bottom
- Bed frames
- Bed base and under any material covering it
- Around legs and casters of the bed base
- Furniture top and bottom, turn furniture over and check base
- Telephones and sockets
- Plug sockets and electrical appliances like televisions, radios, computers
- Skirting boards
- Carpet edges and under any loose carpet
- Floor boards
- Behind pictures/mirrors
- Any cracks and crevices in joins and mouldings in walls, floors, ceilings
- Books, between pages and bindings
- curtains and poles
Clean areas where bed bugs hideThoroughly clean all bedding, linens, curtains, rugs, carpets, and clothes.Washing items in hot water and drying them on the highest dryer setting will kill bed bugs. For those items that may be harmed by washing and drying at high temperatures, soak in warm water with lots of laundry soap for several hours before rinsing.
• Wipe away or vacuum all dust from the bed frame, nearby furniture, floors and carpets. Vacuum mattresses carefully. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal it tightly, and throw the bag away in an outdoor container.
• If you find bed bugs on the mattress, buy a waterproof zippered mattress cover. These covers often say “allergen rated,” or “for dust mites.” Scrub the mattress seams with a stiff brush to dislodge bed bugs and any eggs. Then enclose the mattress in the cover for at least one year. This will trap any remaining bed bugs inside the cover, killing them.
• Throw away and replace an infested box spring if necessary.
• Remove all clutter from bedrooms and any other furniture that people may sleep or nap upon. Place this clutter into a plastic garbage bag, seal it tightly, and throw it away. If you need to save it, make sure it stays sealed up for a year.