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Bed bugs are hitchhiking bugs that travel passively from one location to another. They don't live outside of your Portland home and get in from the outside. They're always carried in. The more you understand about how bed bugs can be carried into your home, the better your chances will be of keeping them out. Here are five easy ways to prevent a bed bug infestation in Portland, Maine.

1. Check Used Items

Passive dispersal of bed bugs often occurs with the movement of furniture items and other objects that have voids inside, such as alarm clocks, computers, guitars, and more. When you buy a used bed, you may think to inspect it for bed bugs. But you might not think to inspect a used couch, love seat, or computer system. No matter what used item you purchase, or pick up from the side of the road, be sure to do a detailed inspection. If there is a void inside, there could be bed bugs or bed bug eggs in it. Look for this evidence.

Black specks, patches, blotches or stains: Bed bugs leave black excrement in areas of infestation. This is most likely to be found in tight spaces, cracks, crevices, and seams.

Tiny white eggs: Bed bugs lay their eggs in tight spaces and compressed areas. These eggs are 1mm long and pale in color. If you inspect a mattress seam for eggs, it helps to use a debit card to dislodge them.

Shed skins. As bed bugs develop, they shed old skins and grow new ones. You'll find these skins where bed bugs are active.

Pheromones. Bed bugs communicate by excreting chemicals. If your item smells like a damp locker room towel, it might have bed bugs in it.

Brown stains. Bed bugs excrete blood. This can cause brown stains to form on fabrics.

Bed bugs. The most obvious sign is uncovering bed bugs all huddled together or tucked away inside a tight space.

2. Protect Your Laundry

Bed bugs are drawn to the scent of humans. This makes laundry items a point of contact for bed bugs. When you stay the night somewhere, be sure to store your laundry items in a sealed container or a plastic bag. A trash bag and a bread tie can get this job done. Keep in mind that bed bugs can be in many places you wouldn't expect, such as in the home of a friend or relative, in a 5-star resort, or in a cabin in the middle of the woods.

3. Do A Quick Inspection

When you spend the night somewhere, even at the home of a friend or relative, always do a quick inspection. We recommend keeping your luggage and other bags in the car while you perform this inspection, or store them on a bathroom floor. Bathrooms are less likely to have active bed bugs. During your inspection, use a flashlight and look for the evidence we listed above.

4. Exercise Caution

You can get bed bugs in many places where there are no beds present. You can pick them up at school, work, while visiting family in a nursing home, while watching a movie at the theater, when picking your child up from daycare, while shopping for clothes, etc. These bugs can be hiding just out of sight in some dark crevice, or in the belongings of another person. It is impossible to fully protect yourself, but we have a few tips that can help you keep from bringing bed bugs home.

  • Refrain from putting bags near the bags of other people.

  • Refrain from putting clothing items in a locker with someone else's items.

  • Use the light on your cell phone to do a quick inspection of your movie seat or any chair that is in a dark room.

  • Look and smell for warning signs when you get into a cab, or when you sit on any public seat.  

5. Use Your Dryer

High heat kills bed bugs in all stages of development. When you return home from a trip, run all your laundry items through a 30-minute dryer cycle. You can also put dryer-safe items into your dryer. This is a quick and efficient way to stop bed bugs in their tracks.

What To Do About A Bed Bug Infestation In Portland

Bed bug prevention is never 100 percent. There is always a way these bugs can find a way into your home. If they do, contact Big Blue Bug Solutions. We help Portland home and business owners get rid of these pests. You don't have to let the bed bugs bite. Reach out to us today for service.

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