If you're like most people, you spend a good third of your life in bed, but you don't spend a lot of time thinking about what might be sharing that bed with you. After, all, who wants to think about the possibility of an infestation where they curl up for the night? When it comes to pest control in your sleeping area, though, prevention is definitely better than extermination. Many common pests are easy to prevent from coming into your home, but are extremely hard to eliminate once they establish themselves. Following a few common sense precautions can prevent a nasty infestation from breaking out in your bedroom, which is exactly where you want it the least.
The most common and least harmful common mattress pest is the dust mite. These tiny insects live inside the fibers of mattresses, carpets and rugs and live by feeding on dust. They are impossible to totally eliminate from a household, so it's a good thing that they are not generally harmful to humans. In high enough concentrations, though, their droppings can become airborne when a mattress is jostled, causing coughing and sneezing. For sleepers with asthma or other respiratory diseases, this can be especially dangerous. Although it is impossible to completely eliminate them or prevent their arrival in your mattress, dust mites are easy to control. Simply vacuum your mattress regularly to keep their numbers down.
If you have pets in the house, or if you live in a warmer rural area, you should be especially wary of bringing fleas into your sleeping area. The most common vector for fleas to enter a home is via household pets, so the best way to keep them out is to keep your pets in as much as possible. Outdoor pets should be equipped with flea collars and receive regular baths with flea shampoo. For the human members of the family, shoes and socks should be removed in an outdoor or garage area with no carpeting after coming in from walking through grassy areas. If fleas do establish themselves in your home despite your precautions, you have your work cut out for you to get rid of them. Completely ridding your home of fleas requires a multi-stage treatment of the entire home, but the good news is that they don't tend to live in mattresses, preferring the carpet instead. Keep your pets off your bed and dust your mattress with Borax powder to kill any fleas and flea eggs in residence. Getting rid of household fleas is a long, annoying process but clearing your bed is a good easy first step.
Those who travel frequently are at high risk for bringing bedbugs into the home. These pests live not only under mattresses and in bedframes, but anywhere they can find a crack or crevice to hide. Hotel rooms are notorious for harboring bedbugs, as are public transportation venues. When you return from a trip the first step in preventing bedbugs is to check your belongings for bedbug sign, especially if you've experienced itchy red bites at any time during the trip. These insects don't ride on human skin or hair, but they do latch on to clothing and luggage. Use a bright light to check seams in clothes, suitcases and pillows for clusters of small reddish-brown insects, vacuum them up and immediately dispose of the bag away from your home.
A bug infestation in the bedroom can be a homeowner's worst nightmare, but luckily it’s easy to keep unwanted guests out of your mattress by following a few simple precautions. Stay pest-free and sleep in peace of mind.