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Inviting Guests for the Holidays? How to Avoid Catching Bed Bugs

First Night: Shelley's Bags

The holidays are a time for friends and family, not bed bugs. With the pests running rampant across the country in apartments, houses and college dorms, it’s okay to feel paranoid about a guest introducing bed bugs into your home, especially if you’ve battled them in the past. Use the following pest control and etiquette tips to keep your home safe from an infestation while still graciously showing your guests a good time.

Holiday Bed Bugs – Pest Control Tips

No overnight guests. The simplest way to eliminate worries about overnight guests bringing bed bugs into your home is to not make your home available. Sometimes this is easier said than done.

Be upfront about your concerns. Let your overnight guests know you are concerned about a bed bug infestation (especially if you’ve won a battle with the pests), that the worry isn’t a personal attack and that you’re asking all of your overnight guests to follow these prevention protocols:

  • Pack only the most necessary items, including clothing that’s safe to place in a dryer on the hottest setting.
  • Place packed non-clothing items in zippered plastic bags.
  • Have guests unpack in your garage and keep the suitcases there.
  • Treat guest clothing in your dryer on the hottest setting as soon as they’re unpacked.

Be sure to tell your guests about your bed bug concerns well before they arrive, not when you greet them at the front door, so your prevention methods don’t come off as rude.

Bed bug-proof your home. Cover all mattresses and pillows in your home with bed bug-proof liners. Use white or light-colored linens on your guest beds so you can quickly notice any signs of bed bugs. Have your guests place their luggage on luggage racks in your garage and provide them with special bed bug bags for their belongings. Make it as easy as possible for your guests to comply with your prevention methods.

Practice cleanliness. Vacuum your home, particularly the bedrooms, daily when you have overnight guests. After they leave, launder the linens used on the hottest washer and dryer settings. Then inspect the bedrooms for signs of an infestation.

To avoid calling a pest control company, bed bugs need to be addressed before your guests arrive. Honesty about your infestation concerns and prevention methods is the best policy; your guests will understand your desire to protect your home.

[ Photo by: puptoes74, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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