alarm clock on night stand with a bed in the background

Bed bugs have become a widespread problem among tenants – a problem that is not only inconvenient, but also can become quite expensive. Needless to say, knowing how to prevent bed bugs is knowledge you’ll want to have. First, it’s important to know where bed bugs can be found. Bed bugs commonly clasp onto used furniture, clothing and luggage. They can also enter your home through connected pipes and wiring.

Bed bug do’s and don’ts

Help keep your residence bed bug-free by following these do’s and don’ts.

Do's Don'ts
Wash and dry your bedding on a regular basis, as well as clothing that may be left on the floor. It’s also important to clean your laundry hampers, as bed bugs can lay eggs inside these containers. Since bed bugs can be found in used furniture, it’s important not to pick up pieces that have been left outside – especially upholstered furniture or bed parts, such as bed frames or mattresses.
Check windows and doors for any cracks or openings, and seal with caulk accordingly. Don’t combine clothes you brought on a trip with your home laundry. Wash your travel clothes separately in warm or hot water.
Always inspect the hotel bed and furniture when traveling. You should also inspect your suitcases before you leave to prevent bringing bed bugs home with you. When traveling, keep suitcases in the bathtub or on a luggage rack that’s a good distance from the wall. Avoid putting your belongings on the bed or floor.
If you suspect that you have bed bugs, wash and dry your clothing on hot settings and/or store them in a sealed plastic bag. Do not leave your home cluttered, as a disorganized home gives bed bugs more hiding spots.

How to check for bed bugs at home

While following the above do’s and don’ts can help reduce your chances of a bed bug infestation, it isn’t foolproof. Therefore, it’s good to know how to inspect for bed bugs so that you can quickly eradicate the problem, if necessary.

Live bed bugs often leave dark brown or black spots behind. They may also let off a musty aroma. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep an eye out for rust-colored stains on bed sheets or mattresses while cleaning or doing laundry. You should also inspect the seams of the mattress by pulling back the sheets.
  • Be sure to examine the bed frame and behind the headboard.
  • Look for tiny eggshells, as this could also indicate bed bugs.
  • Inspect your dresser drawers, as well as the back of the dresser that faces the wall.
  • Pay close attention to upholstered furniture, specifically the seams and crevices.

How to look for bed bugs in hotels

Prior to getting situated in your hotel or motel room when traveling, give the room a good bed bug inspection by following these steps.

  • Move the bed away from the wall and use a flashlight to clearly see the headboard – a common place for bed bugs to stay.
  • Look under the bed using your flashlight as well. Lift up the mattress and box springs so that you can scan these areas.
  • Pay special attention to the seams of mattresses and the box springs. These are spots bed bugs like to hide in.
  • Inspect folding beds and cots, roll-in cribs and upholstered furniture in the room.

How to safely get rid of bed bugs

If you find that you have a bed bug infestation, it’s best to contact a professional exterminator. They will have the experience needed and the appropriate chemicals to properly handle the problem.

It’s also important to keep in mind that a bed bug infestation is not typically covered by renters insurance. Therefore, taking the right steps to prevent them can save you a financial headache in the future.

Find out more about what renters insurance covers and what it doesn’t.

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply.