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Top 10 bed bug prevention tips

Great minds share their knowledge
Great minds share their knowledge
Shutterstock: Bruce Rolff

Bed bugs are everywhere, and they hitch-hike home on your clothing. Proactive prevention will help keep you and your loved ones bed bug free.

Toronto’s Green Heat Bed Bug Exterminators have compiled a list of their top 10 bed bug prevention tips. These expert prevention techniques will significantly reduce your chances of bringing bed bugs home with you.

Use your dryer
Use your dryer Shutterstock: Csaba Vanyi

Use your dryer

Your dryer is the best defence against bed bugs. Using your dryer on high heat for 60 minutes will kill all bed bugs and their eggs. Invest in a shelf unit for your dryer. Many items can't tumble in your dryer, so you will need a shelf.

Note: Do not wash your clothes first, the water isn’t hot enough.

Public laundry facilities
Public laundry facilities Shutterstock: ELegeyda

Public laundry facilities

If you use a public laundry facility, make sure you dry every load. If the person ahead of you had bed bugs, chances are live bed bugs will be in the wash basin.

When transporting your laundry to the facility, use caution. If you drop bed bugs on your way, others will become infested.

Don’t brush up against people
Don’t brush up against people Shutterstock: William Perugini

Don’t brush up against people

When you are in a public setting, such as the subway, don’t brush up against people. Bed bugs are very sticky, and they easily attach to your clothing.

It’s not that you're antisocial, you’re just anti-bedbug.

Smooth plastic chairs
Smooth plastic chairs Shutterstock: Kitti Sukhonthanit

Smooth plastic chairs

When in public look for the uncomfortable smooth plastic chairs. That soft cushion chair that you are about to sit on may have a bed bug waiting for you.

Bed bugs cannot cling to smooth plastic or metal surfaces.

Library books
Library books Shutterstock: hxdbzxy

Library books

Library books may have bed bugs. Seal all books in a freezer bag before leaving the library. Heat all books in your dryer for 60 minutes (this is where you will use your dryer shelf).

Do not put the books in your freezer, this does not work.

Safe travel
Safe travel Shutterstock: Ariwasabi

Safe travel

Invest in soft luggage or bring a large garbage bag with you. Just before checkout seal all of your clothing in the bag. Once home, put all clothing (and soft luggage) into the dryer.

A google search for 'duffle luggage with wheels' will give you a lot of soft luggage options.

Sleepovers
Sleepovers Shutterstock: CREATISTA

Sleepovers

If your child is the guest, send their clothing in soft luggage, or sealed in a garbage bag. Send your child in clothes that just came from your dryer. If you’re the host, when your guest arrives, dry all of their clothes on high heat for 60 minutes. Bed bugs travel this way more often than people may think.

Visiting friends or family
Visiting friends or family Shutterstock: Lana K

Visiting friends or family

If your friend has had bed bugs in the past, chose to sit on hard plastic chairs if available. Try not to walk through their house in your socks, and avoid their sleeping areas. Stay in the kitchen if you can.

If your friend or family member currently has bed bugs, don’t visit. Suggest they contact a bed bug exterminator immediately.

Regular self inspection
Regular self inspection Courtesy of David Mora

Regular self inspection

Every time you change your sheets, lift up your mattress. Look in the folds and seams of your mattress and box spring. Use a flashlight.

You are looking for black specks, bed bugs, eggs or moulting shells. Here is some further information on bed bug symptoms.

Share your knowledge
Share your knowledge Shutterstock: mangostock

Share your knowledge

Bed bugs come with a stigma, it’s true! But if you have bed bugs, you are being a true friend by letting your visitors know. Finally, educate your friends so they can protect themselves.

Please share your own bed bug prevention tips below.