There are many things that go bump in the night. The scariest of them all, are bed bugs. Sure, they’re not the big hairy monsters we used to look out for as a kid, but they’re plenty strange once you get to know them. Bed Bugs, like most insects of their kind, are considered arthropod vectors for countless numbers of diseases. Most of these do not infect humans. In fact, bed bugs might be an even worse for your pets than you—double creepy. But in a recent experiment by Penn State University’s Infectious Disease group, they found common bed bugs to be vectors for Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite behind the infamous Chagas disease. More than ever we need to be vigilant. But what can we do to prevent these bugs from taking over?
Clean Second hand Mattresses
First off, bed bugs are most seen in second hand mattresses. It’s a very real possibility, especially if you’re purchasing from a reseller. You don’t know the source of the product or the bedbugs that it may carry. So if you’re going to buy one, please disinfect it with Lysol and baking soda. You’re going to have to let it dry for about a day or two, but it is well worth it. There’s nothing worse than having someone else’s bed bugs in your home. Even if you bought your own mattress, it’s still a good idea to have it professionally cleaned, or to disinfect it yourself every once in a while. One washes their sheets often enough, but the crypts of an entire mattress? It’s an overlooked necessity.
Dust Proof Openings
Aside from the bed itself, having safeguards present around the house to keep the dust out can greatly affect the possibility of getting bed bugs. Bed bugs are insect vectors from outside. They’re free-living arthropods that, by chance, find their way to your mattress. So having rubber stops and dust-proof doors can do wonders in the prevention department. The most practical appliance to add is a door sweep at the bottom. This prevents a draft from introducing those baddies into your home. The next step is to seal up any cracks and crevices in places that are commonly open to the outside, like light sockets and baseboards.
The third and most basic things that you can do to prevent bedbugs is to simply clean up around the house. Bed bugs are only there because they like enclosed, dark, and protective places. This is the same kind of environment that piles of clothes provide, or dusty boxes. Clearing these out can give you a better chance of getting rid of any bed bus, their larvae, and their eggs.
Above all, basic hygiene is the key to preventing any creepy and crawly bugs in your home. Having things relatively clean is your number one defense for a whole host of diseases and insects. It’s common sense and should be a part of your everyday routine. And if they’re still around, some mattress cleaning should take care of the issue pretty quickly, for a happy and bug free home.