Methods for preventing bugs

Top Ten Tips to Prevent or Control Bed Bugs

Related Information

1. Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects.

You can compare your insect to the pictures on our Identifying bed bugs Web page or show it to your local extension agent.Exit (Extension agents are trained in pest control issues and know your local area.)

2. Don’t panic!

3. Think through your treatment options — DonΒ’’t immediately reach for the spray can.

Be comprehensive in your approach. Try other things first. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with pesticides. If pesticides are needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional. There is help available to learn about treatment options. (4 pp, 480 K, About PDF)

4. Reduce the number of hiding places — Clean up the clutter.

A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating them harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

5. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor.

This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.

6. Do-it-yourself freezing may not be a reliable method for bed bug control.

While freezing can kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain very low for a long time. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill bed bugs; always use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Putting things outside in freezing temperatures could kill bed bugs, but there are many factors that can affect the success of this method.

7. Kill bed bugs with heat, but be very careful.

Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters won’t do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, if the contents become hot enough. Bed bugs die when their body temperatures reaches 45Β°C (113Β°F). To kill bed bugs with heat, the room or container must be even hotter to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding

8. DonΒ’’t pass your bed bugs on to others.

Bed bugs are good hitchhikers. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs.

9. Reduce the number of bed bugs to reduce bites.

Thorough vacuuming can get rid of some of your bed bugs. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin.

10. Turn to the professionals, if needed.

Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of bed bugs. If you hire an expert, be sure it’s a company with a good reputation and request that it use an IPM approach. Contact your state pesticide agency for guidance about hiring professional pest control companies. Also, EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety provides information about IPM approaches, how to choose a pest control company, safe handling of pesticides, and emergency information.

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

Protecting Your Home from Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. They can move from an infested site to a new home by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing.

Although they typically feed on blood every five to ten days, bed bugs can be quite resilient; they are capable of surviving several months to a year without feeding.

A few simple precautions can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
  • Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes or a cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to control bed bugs.
  • Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
  • Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)
  • If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by:
    • Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
    • Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
  • Consider purchasing a portable heating chamber to treat any items that you believe may have bed bugs.
    • Be sure to read and carefully follow the directions if you use one of these units and be aware that they are not regulated by EPA or other federal agencies.
  • More information on controlling bed bugs.

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

Bed Bug Prevention

Looking to avoid bed bugs? Bed bug prevention is a lot easier than eliminating an existing infestation. According to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, bed bugs remain the most difficult pest to treat – more difficult than cockroaches, termites and ants!

Depending on the scope of an infestation and the type of treatment used by a pest professional, it can take several treatments to completely eliminate bed bugs. Fortunately, there are many things that one can do to prevent bringing bed bugs into the home. Vigilance is the key to bed bug prevention. When out in public – whether at a hotel, store, movie theater or work place – it is important to be conscientious of all surroundings.

As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, focus on bed bug prevention has also grown. Many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation. According to the 2011 Bed Bugs in America survey, 27 percent of respondents have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip; 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs; 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.

Regular bed bug inspections are the best method of prevention to avoid bed bug infestations. Read our tips for preventing bed bugs to learn more about how to protect your household from an infestation:

History of Bed Bugs

Learn about the history of bed bugs and the factors that lead to their resurgence.

How To Keep Bugs Away The Natural Way – TOP 21 Methods

Wouldn’t Summer be so much nicer if we knew how to keep bugs away?

Flies germing up our grilled goodies, mosquitos biting us to bits and wasps scaring us silly – bugs don’t half ruin our fun!

Imagine a Summer that’s bug-free – as many uninterrupted outdoor BBQs as you like, without a bug annoyance, sting or bite in sight.

I’ve got just what you need! Here are 22 DIY ways to keep bugs away all Summer long, without spending money on a single bug repellant.

Don’t let the bugs bother you – make this Summer bug-free.

For more amazing tips, home hacks and competition, sign up to the Expert Home Tips newsletter now!

1. Cover food & drink to prevent bugs from bothering you

This may sound like an obvious one, but don’t uncover food and drink items until you sit down to eat.

As soon as mosquitos, flies, wasps and other bugs catch the scent, they’ll come swarming.

2. LEDs don’t attract bugs

Have you ever noticed that bugs seem to swarm around lights at night?

This may be due to your choice of light bulb. New research suggests that the type of light we use can attract bugs. The results show that a warm LED light bulb is the least attractive to bugs

Swapping your bulbs for environmentally-friendly LEDs may be the key to keeping bugs away.

3. Citronella candles are a natural mosquitoes repellent

Ahhh, the citrussy-sent of Citronella is just lovely, isn’t it? Mosquitoes certainly don’t think so!

In fact, research shows that Citronella candles can reduce mosquitos landing by around 42% – that’s a lot of bites!

DIY citronella candles are incredibly easy to make – check out Tesco Living’s tutorial and keep those bugs at bay today.

4. Keep your house clean to prevent flies

Bugs, and ants in particular love one thing – sweet stuff. Leave sticky stains on your tables, chairs, or anywhere for that matter, and they’ll come crawling.

Keep your house nice and clean – especially the kitchen – to avoid unwanted ant infestations.

5. Sweat attracts mosquitoes & flies

Sweaty skin will not only be unpleasant for those around you, but also attract insects to your body.

When we sweat, we give off hormones and scents that attract mosquitoes. Shower more regularly during the Summer months and wear cool clothing to keep those mosquitoes away.

6. Place a chopped onion in water to naturally repel mosquitos

Old wive’s tales recommend placing a chopped onion in water to repel mosquitos.

Similarly to garlic, mosquitos seem to find onions unpleasant. Place a bowl nearby your outdoor seating area, and swish the water to release the aroma.

7. Vitamin B could prevent mosquito bites

Vitamins are extremely important to our health, but it’s vitamin B that could be particularly useful in preventing mosquito bites.

It’s thought that mosquitoes are more likely to bite people low in vitamin B. To make sure you’re not among them, eat plenty of vegetables, eggs, pork and fish.

8. Keep bugs away from your lunch naturally

As soon as you sit down to eat, the bugs appear. In their twos, threes and tens, they come to get in on the foodie action, leaving germs all over your burger, salad and dessert.

Sometimes it’s just worth sharing – not off the same plate, mind. Set up a plate of scraps or honey on a plate elsewhere in your garden to divert bugs and keep them from bothering you.

9. Dryer sheets repel insects

This one sounds a little bizarre, but it’s been discovered that some dryer sheets do in fact repel insects.

A common component in dryer sheets is a scented ingredient called linalool. It’s thought to be this that keeps bugs away.

Pop a dryer sheet into your pocket when outside to prevent keep bugs away.

10. Jonhson’s baby oil will prevent mosquito bites

This might just be the best revelation yet – baby oil prevents mosquito bites!

This is because mosquitoes can’t breathe when they land in the oil.

Why not pick up a classic by Jonson & Johnson’s from Amazon today ready for the holiday season? It’s gentle enough to use on the entire family.

11. Garlic is a natural bug repellant

I’m not sure about Vampires, but bugs definitely don’t like garlic, that’s for sure.

Start adding flattened garlic cloves to your cooking during Summer months. Not only will they add flavour, but if you munch on them, they’ll help to prevent mosquito bites.

12. Mint mouthwash spray will keep bugs at bay

I’ve already mentioned that mint plants keep bugs away. If you want to take this a step further, a super easy DIY mosquito repellent can be made from your minty mouthwash.

Just pour it into a bottle and spritz all over to prevent mosquito bites during the Summer months.

13. Limes & cloves are natural bug repellents

A quick, easy and pretty way to keep bugs at bay during BBQ season is the pairing of limes and cloves.

Slice the citrus fruit into halves, and stud each one with 6 whole cloves. Place on the table to prevent bugs from coming near. You and your guests will finally be able to enjoy yourselves bug and bite free!

14. Avo > Swap your sweet scent for something more neutral.

I love a sweet scent for Summer months. The problem is, sweet perfume attracts mosquitoes!

The best way to prevent mosquitos being attracted to your skin is to abstain from scented beauty products – especially perfume – completely. If you physically can’t, opt for something less sweet and more neutral to help repel mosquitoes.

15. Drinking beer encourages mosquito bites

Trying to cut down on the booze? Discovering that drinking beer encourages mosquito bites might just provide the motivation you need!

The reason as to why this remains unclear, but beer has been proven to increase mosquito attraction in several studies.

One thing’s for sure – if you don’t want to be bitten this Summer, best to consider swapping your pint for something less mosquito-friendly.

16. Dish soap will attract & kill bugs

Having no luck with other, natural bug-repellents? Then something’s gotta give – it’s time to turn to dish soap.

Placing small bowls full of dish soap (preferably lemon scented) around your outdoor space will attract mosquitos. The bugs will then be trapped in the sticky solution.

A sad fate for the insects, but you’ll be able to enjoy your Summer bug-free!

17. DIY a natural mosquito repellent using vanilla

If you’re in a kinder mood and have a little time on your hands, why not whip up your own DIY mosquito repellent?

Do It Yourself has a great recipe using vanilla as the main ingredient. Not only does it smell sublime, but it’s a natural method to keep bugs away.

18. Get r > Mint smells great too!

Mmmm, there’s nothing like the fresh smell or rosemary or mint. While we appreciate potent, herby smells, bugs certainly don’t.

In fact, rosemary or mint plants planted in your garden will keep mosquitos away. Plus you’ll be able to use the mint to Pimms and marinate your BBQ meat with rosemary when cooking for an extra dosing of flavour – yum!

19. Apple cider vinegar will keep bugs away naturally

I’ve already mentioned that bugs and mosquitoes, in particular, are attracted to the scent of our sweat.

Drinking apple cider vinegar can actually have an effect on the smell of our sweat, making it less appealing for mosquitoes.

Start using it in Summer dressings to keep those bugs well away.

Apple cider vinegar is also an amazing beauty product! Find out why in Anushka’s article, 19 reasons why apple cider vinegar is the BEST beauty product.

20. Prevent bugs with a bubble machine

The kids will be happy when they hear about this one!

In a similar way to scented washing up liquid, bubbles will also repel bugs.

The soapy smell floating across your garden in the form of magical bubbles will keep mosquitos, flies and wasps well away.

Plus, they’re SUPER fun!

21. Fans can blow bugs away

It’s hot and sticky and there are bugs everywhere. The solution? Invest in a fan.

Not only will the soft breeze keep you cool, but the moving air will make it much more difficult for bugs to get close.

With these tips, you’ll finally be able to keep bugs away this Summer! Do you have any DIY methods you’ve had success with?

  • PIN

Stephanie C

Lover of all things fashion & foodie. I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I’m an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

Get this eBook FREE!

101 Tips for an Easy Life

Join the Expert Home Tips newsletter + get a free eBook full of exclusive tips

16 Add your comment

Wow thanks so much for your tips on keeping bugs at bay !! Who’d have thought so easy without any chemical bug repellants !!

Hi Louise. I’m glad you enjoyed my tips! Here’s to a bug & chemical free Summer πŸ™‚

Avon Skin So Soft contains Citronella & helps keep the bugs away while encouraging lovely soft skin too. I discovered it after years of being bitten every summer, & it works a treat for me.

Hi Jo. What a great tip! It can be difficult to find truly effective insect repellents so your recommendation is definitely valued. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Have been using Citronella candles for years and love the way we can all sit out in the garden and not worry about bugs! Best invention ever!

. and they smell great too! Thanks for stopping by Wendy πŸ™‚

Please show us how to get rid of moths I have so many flying around

Hi there! We will certainly look into doing a blog post on getting rid of moths. Stay tuned!

I’ll have to save this for summer! This summer I had a nightmare trying to keep the bugs away on bike rides and camping. I wish I’d have seen it then!

Hi Jenny. Sorry we couldn’t be of help sooner! I hope you find the tips useful next year πŸ™‚

Drink apple cider vinegar with mother in it. Bragg’s ACV is a good brand. It tastes nasty so chase it with juice, or mask it in juice. It also cures urinary tract infections. 1tbs 2x daily. Do not leave on teeth. Take vitamin B. Make sure you take whole vitamin B complex, not synthetic vitamins. Add Liquid Trace Minerals to your drink. This will up your bodies pH over time making bugs, fleas, lice ect not like you anymore. Last, take nascent iodine. It is known as the forgotten cure. It kills microbes, parasites that steal away your vitamin B. It also chelates chemicals, and heavy metals from the body. If you are suffering from bugs being attracted to you do these things I mentioned, and in a few months you will no longer be plagued. I have literally been there. Vacuum daily, and take out the bag immediately so insects don’t hop back out. Vacuuming daily is huge, and just as important as your internal environment. Don’t forget to use an insect spray with an IGR( insect growth regular) if you have an extreme reoccurring infestation. Blue Dawn Dish Soap can be used with suddsey water, and tea lights to attract, and kill insects. The water tension caused by the soap stops bugs from hopping out.

Thanks for sharing!

I am gonna start using baby oil, and drinking apple cider vinegar before bed every night

We hope it works for you, Mary!

Thanks for the mosquito tips. I have a new birdbath and I was concerned that it would attract mosquitoes. I sprinkled a bit of garlic in the water. It wasn’t fresh garlic. I hope that will work and that it won’t deter the birds.

Everyday Bed Bug Prevention Tips

It is important to be aware of how to prevent bed bugs in your everyday life. Here are some prevention tips to keep in mind regarding how to avoid bed bugs:

  • Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
  • Check your sheets for tell-tale blood spots.
  • Consider bringing a large plastic trashbag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
  • Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation. You might consider having a pest control professional inspect the furniture as it is difficult to detect an infestation without training.
  • Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation.

Check out our other tips for preventing bed bugs in different settings:

History of Bed Bugs

Learn about the history of bed bugs and the factors that lead to their resurgence.

Bed Bug Biology

Learn about the biology of bed bugs – from their shape and size to their life cycle and feeding habits.

Location of Bed Bugs

Wondering where bed bugs are found? Discover common bed bug habitats and infestation regions.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Learn about the common signs of bed bugs – from bites on the skin to spots on the mattress to sticky eggs.

Bed Bug Facts and Stats

Read bed bug facts and statistics compiled by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Bed Bug Prevention When Traveling

If you stay in a hotel or motel, keep these bed bug travel tips in mind. It is important that you take some precautions to ensure that your room is bed-bug free before you settle in. In a recent survey by NPMA, 75% of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered infestations of bed bugs in hotels and motels. The NPMA recommends the following tips for bed bug prevention when traveling:

  • At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspect, notify management and change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
  • Remember: bed bugs travel by hitching rides. After your trip, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.

Check out our other tips for preventing bed bugs in different settings:

History of Bed Bugs

Learn about the history of bed bugs and the factors that lead to their resurgence.

Bed Bug Biology

Learn about the biology of bed bugs – from their shape and size to their life cycle and feeding habits.

Location of Bed Bugs

Wondering where bed bugs are found? Discover common bed bug habitats and infestation regions.

Signs of Bed Bugs

Learn about the common signs of bed bugs – from bites on the skin to spots on the mattress to sticky eggs.

Bed Bug Facts and Stats

Read bed bug facts and statistics compiled by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail will not be published. All fields are required.