Bed Bugs and Yard Sales: How To Prevent Bringing Them Home

Yard sales and garage sales can be near impossible to resist no matter if you’re a man or woman and no matter if the stuff you see is something you need or not. For a lot of us, simply seeing the signs that say “sale this way!” bring about a feeling of excitement that can be dang near impossible to resist.  You never know what you’ll find and sometimes you’ll find the most awesome thing you never knew you even wanted!

So, how are bed bugs involved in all this? Well there are certain pieces of furniture and other items that bed bugs definitely prefer over others and once you know what exactly they prefer, finding them and preventing them from accidentally hitching a ride into your home to feast on you is pretty easy. Let’s check out some useful tips about preventing bed bugs from yard sale purchases.

Couches

Couches are a prime suspect and unfortunately people overlook these more often than not. Lots of people don’t have room for a bed or have roommates and chances are that couch doubles as a bed quite often, especially if you’re grabbing it near a university. The size and shape of the couch are important here because tiny couches probably aren’t sleeping surfaces.

To check a couch for bed bugs, it’s super easy. You just need to take off the couch cushions, give them a nice shake and see if anything falls out. While the cushions are off, that’s the time to check for rips and tears. A lot of couches get torn up inside but don’t tear to the point they are just losing things directly to the floor. Take a quick peek inside these tears if you can.

Beds

Well, bed bugs aren’t called rug bugs or shoe bugs for a reason. They want to live where we sleep so they can feed on us while we’re sleeping. Beds including mattresses, box springs, dust ruffles and linens are the primary suspects at any yard or garage sale. It’s quick and easy to simply give them a good shake on a sunny day but if it’s dark or indoors, it can be hard to find anything suspicious. The savvy shopper will bring a flashlight along so they are sure they have the ability to check for unwanted inhabitants no matter what the lighting condition may be.

Linens and Clothing

Coats, sheets, pants and pretty much anything made of cloth can potentially act as a bed bug taxi directly to your home or the home of a friend or relative. Imagine your Grandma’s horror when that quilt you got for her infests her bedroom with bed bugs. Don’t let this happen to your Grandma, take proper steps.

The easiest way to prevent bed bugs in used clothing and linens is to simply wash all that stuff then dry it on high heat. Since everything is used anyway, you don’t need to worry about shrinkage.

 

Just use your head and be observant. It’s not hard to spot bugs and dirty or shady looking yard/garage sales should always be approached with caution.

Cheap Bed Bug Prevention Methods That Work

Bed bugs have unfortunately become a fairly common problem in the US and in some places, they are getting out of control. Where do they come from? Well, that’s hard to say. They’ve basically been around since we’ve been around. Every once in a while we find a way to almost wipe them out then some years later they come back with a vengeance. Right now we’re in one of their thriving periods but hopefully this won’t last long.

Bed bugs prefer areas where a lot of people are densely packed together. Apartments that have too many occupants and college dorms have been hit pretty hard lately. Since we’re their food source, naturally they’ll be highest in population where we are.

There are plenty of ways to keep them at bay so let’s examine some.

Used Furniture

The best way to prevent bed bugs from entering your home at all is to check out that used stuff you’re buying at yard sales and garage sales. This is one of the main ways these critters get around. If you really need that used couch or mattress, quarantine it in your garage after a thorough on the spot inspection. You can see bugs fairly easily in the sunlight and you can even give mattresses a good kick to see if anything gets disturbed or falls out. This applies to couches and chairs as well. Examine them better than anything you’ve ever checked out. Look in nooks, crannies and rips in materials to see if anything is hiding in there.

Moving

Are you moving to a new place? If it’s furnished, REALLY take your time inspecting the bedroom and furniture. If it’s a motel for temporary stay, you should just pull the mattress off and check it top to bottom and front to back. Examine all sheets, pillowcases and whatever the mattress rests on. Some places it’s a frame, other places it’s something else.

Unfurnished apartments and houses should be pretty clean and you can get a good feel for the place by the general maintenance levels of it.

Traps and Repellents

No matter your situations looking into cheap traps and repellents is always a good idea just in case. It’s always better to be over prepared than underprepared when it comes to bed bugs. Little plastic bug traps that you set under your bed or on bed frame legs are extremely cheap and while not 100% effective, are better than nothing. Repellents can be little sprays or plastic containers that contain chemicals or oils that bugs can’t tolerate. Use both for maximum effectiveness.

Always know when things are simply out of your league. It’s always better to consult a pro than do something yourself if you’re not absolutely sure you know what you’re doing. It might not even be much of a problem and a professional could take care of it cheaper than you could anyway. If you know it’s a bad infestation, set up a spraying schedule and they’ll be gone in no time.

All Natural Bed Bug Protection

Bed bugs have been a nuisance all around the world since man began living in dense towns and cities. You can actually trace these little bugs back thousands of years to Europe, Asia and Africa. They need us to live and will always be around any mid to high population centers.

The main way we used to get rid of bed bugs was with harsh chemicals like DDT and while it worked, it was also extremely harmful for people and animals. Today, there are a lot of all natural and eco-friendly options available to help protect your home against bed bugs.

All Natural Sprays

Sprays containing all natural ingredients work in a similar fashion to their more harsh counterparts. You can spray them directly on infested areas and bed bugs themselves. Like any sprays however, this can actually cause bed bugs to simply scatter and hide or simply avoid the treated area until the active ingredients dissipate.

You might think this basically renders any spray pretty worthless but actually they can work alright when used in certain ways. You can use a spray to help ensure no bed bugs are in that bag of used clothes you brought home, to spray in your guest bedroom now and then as a preventative measure and more. To get the most out of an all-natural spray, use them in tandem with another bed bug prevention device.

Bed Bug Monitors

Bed bug monitors come in two forms, active and passive. The active type uses a small heater and CO2 mist device that emulates your own breath. These can be fairly expensive but work amazingly well. If there are bed bugs in your home, you’ll know within one day using an active monitor. Passive monitors are usually made of thin pieces of plastic or cardboard and simply give bed bugs a place to hide near your bed or inside it. You inspect this device now and then for exoskeletons, droppings or even live bugs.

Bed Bug Traps

A bed bug trap is a small plastic ring or square that you can place in key areas of your room like on  your bed frame legs. Any insect can easily crawl into this plastic device but they simply can’t crawl out. They’ll remain there until they die or until you get rid of them yourself. This is a common way to have a pest control professional confirm the bugs in your home are actually bed bugs.

Professional Services

The easiest way for most of us to find an all-natural solution to our bed bug worries is to hire a professional pest exterminator. A pro will have a nice range of all-natural options and these will almost always work on the bugs in your area. Some groups of insects have developed a resistance against certain chemicals and the exterminators in your area will know what works and what doesn’t.

Bed Bug Repellents: Which Ones Work?

With the recent scares about bed bugs seemingly everywhere we look, it’s a good idea to consider taking a pre-emptive step to keep these pests from becoming a problem in the first place. What steps should you take? This can vary on your exact situation but most people can’t go wrong with utilizing a handful of cheap and effective bed bug repellent products. These can be effective in houses, apartments and even mobile homes and they will keep bed bugs and other critters away completely.

What’s A Repellent?

In simple terms a repellent is some sort of device or chemical that bed bugs simply can’t stand. These can cover a huge range of products from little plastic traps to satchels of herbs to little sprays that double as air fresheners. Here’s a few of the basic repellent types and how they work.

Insect Traps

Most people know about roach motels and mouse traps, these entice specific creatures inside and they are unable to leave. Some types combine a sticky surface area with a poison for double the effectiveness. These work mainly for ants, spiders and roaches but you can find specialized bed bug traps that fit around bed frame legs or you can find very advanced traps that emulate human breath that they are naturally attracted to. Not only do these traps catch bugs but they can be used to determine if you have them in the first place.

Repellent Products

You might have stumbled across items like Bed Defense while looking for ways to prevent bed bugs. This particular product is a lot like the rest of the repellent line. It uses all natural ingredients that bugs can’t tolerate and will avoid at all costs. Inside you’ll find things like cedar oil, citronella and other proven compounds that keep bugs at bay.

These are a great investment because not only do they work for most insects, they are cheap and last for months without needing to be replaced. They can also add a pleasant smell to your spare bedroom that doesn’t see a lot of action unless in-laws or guests come to town.

Repellent Sprays

Sprays can actually work as minor repellents and you can make them yourself if you don’t have a bug problem and just want to handle things for a while on your own. Mixtures of bleach water kill any type of insect on contact and rubbing alcohol solutions devastate anything with an exoskeleton within seconds. Insects simply can’t tolerate strong chemicals due to the way they breath and the porous nature of their bodies.

If you see some suspicious bugs you don’t want around, give them a spray with something you’ve made or give them a nice blast of windex. This will let them know they are in a hostile environment and should they survive, they’ll probably make a quick exit out the door or the crack they came in from. Vinegar is another quick and easy repellent spray that bugs can’t handle. Using the right combo, you can have something that smells refreshing and doubles as a carpet cleaner.

Bed Bug Control: How To Prevent and Eliminate Bed Bug Infestations

There are certain insects out there that are notoriously hard to get under control once they’ve established an area of your home (or your entire home) as their preferred place of residence. Cockroaches and termites are the insects most people are familiar with in this aspect. They can cause an extreme amount of work needed and in some cases can devastate the value of your home and possibly surrounding homes.

A newcomer in this scene is the bed bug. These little guys have been gone for almost ½ a century due to an aggressive campaign to wipe them out but they’ve come back with a vengeance. That little red bump on your face you picked up at a hotel could be a bed bug bite and if a couple of them came home with you, that’s all it takes to spread them around sometimes not just to your home but anywhere you went along the way, including vehicles. You need to be aggressive and use a multi-stage bed bug control system immediately if you even suspect you’ve got bed bugs.

Bed Bug Inspection

The first stage with any insect infestation is always the simple inspection. You need to know what you’re dealing with exactly because some elimination methods won’t work for some bugs. Bed bugs leave a hard to find trail but once you know what you’re looking for, you can usually figure out if you have them in just a few minutes.

Bed bugs, like any bug, shed their exoskeleton once in a while and are mostly active at night. This means they are fairly easy to find in the daylight. Go over every inch of your sheets, mattress, box spring, pillow, pillowcase and nearby areas using a flashlight and as much normal lighting as you can. You can find little black/yellow smears caused by their droppings, tiny oval shaped exoskeletons (or the live bugs), and you may notice a sweet yet musky smell. Look closely in folds of cloth and anywhere a little bug may be able to enter.

Bed Bug Control

If you’re sure you’ve got them, the next step is to eliminate them completely and control the area they seem to prefer to prevent them from coming back. To get rid of bed bugs you have a few options and they will vary depending on what you want to do and how bad you’ve got them. If you only have a couple that probably came with you from a hotel room, washing and drying your bedding and any clothing you took on your trip I the first step. Dryers kill most bugs. Dry your items twice to be safe.

Next, clean, clean, clean. Vacuum your entire house, vacuum your mattress, vacuum your box spring. This can wipe them out completely and in minor cases, this could be all you need to do to be done with it. Usually, you’ll still want to spray your bedding, especially your mattress with a nice bleach solution or disinfectant though this may not kill all the bed bugs. It will definitely help until you can consult a professional or buy some special products however.

Repellant products work wonders as well. These devices can be anything from wall-plug mounted sonic items to little satchels of herbs. Do a bit of research to see what works and what doesn’t. Bed Defense is a popular and affordable little plastic trap that doubles as an all-natural repellant for instance.