If you need to relocate temporarily, and you've rented a furnished home, you need to take steps to protect against bed bugs. You might not realize this, but bed bugs can remain in a home for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, landlords don't always provide pest control services, which is why you need to take matters into your own hands. The steps you take now will help you to avoid problems with bed bugs. Here are four steps you need to take to keep bed bugs away.
Start With a Pesticide Treatment
If your landlord won't provide pest control services, the first thing you need to do is contact an exterminator in your area. An initial application of pesticide is the best way to kill any bedbugs that might be hiding in the house. Be sure to request a whole-house application. That way, the pesticide can kill the bed bugs that aren't in the bedrooms. You might not know this, but bed bugs don't limit their nesting areas to mattresses. Bed bugs will nest just about anywhere, including couches, chairs, and carpeting.
Invest in Good Mattress Covers
If the furnished home you've rented comes complete with mattresses, you'll need to provide added protection. Before you place your sheets and blankets on the mattresses, invest in good mattress covers. Mattress covers will provide a layer of protection between you and any bugs that might be lingering in the padding. It's a good idea to wash your mattress covers and vacuum your mattresses about once a month. That practice can help keep bed bugs away.
Keep Stuffed Toys Off the Floor
If you have children, they probably have their fair share of stuffed animals. If that's the case, you'll want to provide a storage area that's off the floor. Any lingering bed bugs will find their way onto the toys. Unfortunately, once the toys are placed on the beds, the bugs will come with them. The best way to prevent that is to have your children keep their stuffed animals off the carpeted floors. As an added protection, send those stuffed animals through the hot cycle on the dryer at least once a month. The heat will kill any bed bugs that might have found their way onto the stuffed toys.
Watch for Signs of Infestation
Finally, if you'll be renting a furnished home for more than a few months, you'll want to watch for signs of bed bug re-infestation. You never know if one or two bed bugs -- or eggs -- might have survived the initial pesticide treatment. Because of that, it's important that you monitor your home for signs of activity. Some places to check include mattress creases, under the couch cushions, along baseboards, and inside the dresser drawers. Signs to watch for include live bedbugs, or pinhead-sized brown or red spots on your sheets. The brown or red spots indicate blood, which is a sign of bed bug bites.
Contact a local bed bug control service to learn more.