Once you've finally gotten rid of bed bugs, the next step is to keep them from coming back. Proactive steps like preventative treatments and follow-up inspections work well. It's also important to examine where they are coming from to keep them out for good.
Keep Things Isolated and Clean
Since bed bugs travel so effectively by latching onto things that move, such as shoes, clothing, or luggage, you can help minimize any attempts at future infestation by trying not to move anything from room to room unless you absolutely have to. In the weeks following treatment, don't move any furniture, clothes, or other porous belongings in which bed bugs can easily hide.
Another way to isolate any potential future infestations is to seal off certain problem areas. For example, using an airtight mattress cover can trap any remaining bed bugs, which not only prevents them from escaping and multiplying but eventually causes them to starve.
Vacuum your house regularly and throw the bags away immediately after to ensure any bed bugs that might have been picked up don't find their way out and into your home again.
Finally, you can put items like clothes, curtains, and stuffed animals in the dryer. Bed bugs are most effectively killed with high heat, and you can safely do this on your own to kill any bugs that might remain.
Call for Follow Up Inspections
Bed bugs are stubborn creatures and some may survive initial attempts at extermination. Because of this, calling for follow-up inspections and spot treatments will help make these treatments more effective. It's a good idea to request a follow-up inspection even if you don't see any immediate signs of reinfestation. Bed bugs are small and can hide in so many areas that they might not become visible until they're already a serious problem. After your first treatment is complete, talk to your pest control specialist to arrange a follow-up visit to make sure no bed bugs are coming back.
Change Your Habits
Your next most important objective is to stop any more from coming in. If bed bugs are a recurring problem, think about the places you travel and what you might be bringing with you that bed bugs are clinging on to. Start inspecting any items that come into your home and ask anyone you've visited recently if they also have bed bugs. Finding out where these bugs are coming from is the best way to stop any more from getting in.
Use Perimeter Treatments
Your exterminator can also recommend certain kinds of preventative treatments if there's a chance the bed bugs may return. These can take the form of interceptors, which trap any bed bugs trying to climb onto your bed or furniture, diatomaceous earth scattered in your house to kill stragglers, and chemical perimeter treatments to keep bugs from climbing through doors and windows. What works best can depend on your individual situation, so ask your specialist what they recommend for preventative measures.
To learn more, contact a local bed bug exterminator.