- Check all used or rented furniture for bedbugs before bringing it into your home.
- Never bring bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street into your home.
- When traveling, carefully inspect the bed and furniture. Keep suitcases off the floor and bed, and inspect them for evidence of bedbugs before you leave.
- It is a good idea to carefully search luggage and clothing for evidence of bedbugs before you enter the house. The same is true of items you have purchased at a store. (Click here for information on what to do if you find bedbugs)
Learn How to Prevent and Kill Bedbugs
Drive bedbugs from their hiding spots
- Swipe a putty knife or playing card into cracks and crevices to force bedbugs out.
- A hot blow dryer on a low speed setting or a steam generating device will also work.
- When driving bedbugs from hiding, they will flee fast. It is best to surround the area with double-sided tape or to create some type of plastic containment that will not allow the bedbugs to escape to another area. Once you’ve captured the bedbugs, crush them with a paper towel .
- Steam generating devices or blow dryers can also kill bedbugs. Depending on the temperature, it will take 30 – 60 seconds of continuous contact for the heat/steam to be lethal.
Clean & disinfect
- Launder all fabric items in hot water (a minimum of 120°F - 140°F) and dry on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes. Store items in sealed plastic bags until you have gotten rid of the insects.
- Vacuum carpets, bed frames, and furniture daily. Use the brush tool to extricate bedbug eggs from fabrics and crevice tool to reach tight spaces.
- Enclose infested mattresses and box springs labeled “for bedbugs” for a full year. You can find plastic or synthetic wraps for this purpose at most Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
Eliminate hiding places
- Get rid of clutter to reduce places bedbugs can hide. After checking them for bedbugs, put non-essential belongings into storage until the bedbugs are gone from your home.
- Repair cracks in plaster, repair or remove any loose wallpaper and tighten light switch covers.
- Apply caulk to seal crevices and joints in baseboards and gaps on shelving or cabinets.
Get rid of infested items
- Usually it is not necessary to get rid of furniture or bedding at the first signs of bed bugs. Cleaning and enclosing is often adequate.
- Place securely in plastic bags any items to be thrown away and label as “infested with bedbugs.”
- Box springs should only be discarded if they cannot be covered and are heavily infested.