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From retail stores to five-star hotels, you'll find bed bugs anywhere you find their favorite food source: people. According to a 2018 report from the National Pest Management Association, 97 percent of pest experts had been called to a location to exterminated bed bugs within 12 months of being surveyed. In fact, the same report found that 84 percent of pest professionals surveyed said they had gone to exterminate another type of vermin, only to discover a bed bug infestation, and 66 percent of the pest professionals who participated in the survey said that the number of bed bug calls they received was increasing.
While getting rid of these unpleasant pests once they've occupied your home isn't easy, ensuring they don't become unwanted guests in your space is simpler than you'd expect. Read on to find out which items pest professionals say could be inviting bed bugs into your home. And if you're worried about inviting pests into your house, If You Smell This in Your Bedroom, You Might Have Bed Bugs.
You may be returning from those long trips away from home with more than just jet lag to contend with. Nancy Troyano, PhD, BCE, a board-certified entomologist with Western Exterminator, says that bedbugs frequently hitch a ride on luggage, infesting private homes when their owners return.
To avoid this, Troyano recommends opening suitcases far away from upholstered furniture upon entering a hotel. "Check for bed bugs before putting your suitcase [and] inspect your suitcase, luggage, or other items after you travel for any bed bugs," she says. Troyano also recommends running the contents of your suitcase through a dryer cycle on high heat for 15 minutes "to kill any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride home with you." And for more pest prevention tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
According to the National Pest Management Association, (NPMA) when purses are placed on furniture or the ground, bed bugs can hitch a ride, nestling unnoticed in seams and pockets until they take up residence in your home. And if you want to know if you need an exterminator, If You See This in Your Yard, Prepare for a Bug Invasion, USDA Says.
The NPMA says that bed bugs can nestle into stuffed animal fur, potentially causing an infestation in any home they're subsequently brought into. If you want to keep this from happening, the association recommends washing and drying stuffed animals on hot when they first come into your home. And for more insight into dealing with household pests, If You See This Bug in Your Home, Don't Step on It, Experts Warn.
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Surprisingly, a simple fan is another good way to keep mosquitoes at bay. The pests are notoriously weak fliers, so circulating air can stop the bugs from reaching you. Deputy editor Annemarie Conte likes the rechargeable Geek Aire fan for its portability. Because mosquitoes tend to fly low, Doug recommends keeping a fan at knee level to deter them.
Pill bugs are more closely related to shrimp and lobsters than crickets or butterflies. Their ancestors lived in the sea, but ancient pill bugs crawled out millions of years ago to carve a life for themselves on dry land.
More than half of pest control professionals say they receive the most bed bug complaints during the summer, likely because of increased travel. But while you read news reports about checking your hotel room for bed bugs, hotels and motels are actually the third most common location where exterminators notice these pests. Just 68% of pest professionals reported finding bed bugs there.
The cost of exterminating bed bugs varies depending on the l