How Often Should You Inspect for Bed Bugs?
The warm and cozy vibe in our homes can, unfortunately, also provide the perfect environment for bed bugs. Let’s assume you’ve already dealt with these pests by involving a professional exterminator. But now what? How often should you inspect for bed bugs to ensure they don’t stage a comeback?
First off, check out these Bed Bug Inspection Tips from the Bed Bug Exterminator – a trusted and highly experienced LA service provider – to help figure things out. That said, while you may not see bed bugs immediately after an infestation, it doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. In fact, bed bugs can lay dormant for up to 18 months.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends weekly inspections after an infestation. But even if it’s been longer than that, it’s still a good idea to inspect your home regularly – especially if you notice any of the following signs:
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.
- Shed bed bug skin.
- Tiny, brownish eggs.
- Dark spots on mattresses or furniture.
If you spot any of these signs, ring up your go-to exterminator. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eliminate, and you’ll want to address the issue before it spirals out of control.
And while it helps to inspect for bed bugs regularly, you don’t need to do so obsessively. A monthly inspection may suffice in most cases – especially if your exterminator did a bang-up job. But if you’ve recently had guests stay over or traveled by yourself, check more frequently.
Still, some variables may complicate matters. Let’s address them below:
- The extent of the infestation – if you had a serious bed bug problem to begin with, you may want to inspect more frequently at first.
- The level or type of treatment – if you only did a partial job in getting rid of the pests, they may come back faster. Thus, more frequent inspections may be necessary. Similarly, a DIY approach may not be as effective as professional treatment and may require more of your time to get rid of the pests.
- Your comfort level – some people are more comfortable regularly inspecting their homes for bed bugs. If this describes you, do it as often as you like.
- Type of home – if you live in an apartment, bed bugs may be more likely to spread from a neighboring unit. As such, more frequent inspections would suffice. It also won’t hurt to inform your landlord or property manager of the infestation so that adjacent or nearby units can be inspected.
- Your vigilance – perhaps, you’re better at spotting bed bugs than others. As such, you may get away with fewer inspections if you’re especially good at it.
If you’re unsure how often to inspect for bed bugs, go with once a week – especially in the first few months after an infestation. From there, adjust as needed based on the factors outlined above.
These complicating factors aside, you may wonder, “how do I inspect my home.” If this is your current predicament, here are some pointers to guide you:
- Be Thorough
How frequently you inspect for these unwanted guests depends on how comfortable you are doing so. Remember, the goal is to catch them before they have a chance to establish a colony in your home. This implies adopting a thorough approach that goes beyond checking your bed. For instance, inspect other potential hiding spots, like:
- Mattresses and box springs
- Headboards, footboards, and bed frames.
- Inside dressers and nightstands.
- Couches and chairs – between cushions and in seams.
- Underneath rugs, carpets, and floorboards.
- Clutter around the house.
- Take Your Time
You’re bound to miss something if you go about your inspection haphazardly. Ensure to give yourself enough time to conduct a methodical search – especially if you live in a large home with plenty of nooks, crannies, and other hiding spots.
Also, bed bugs are small, so it helps to use a flashlight during your inspection. This allows you to see even the tiniest of critters hiding in crevices and other tight spaces.
In the unlikely event that you encounter bed bugs, don’t panic. Simply find a way to control them. Otherwise, these escapees may re-infest your home. In short, have your exterminator on speed dial. These pests are a nuisance, but with professional help, you can get rid of them.
- Enlist Help
Regular inspections can be tedious, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover. Enlist the help of your family or roommates to make things go smoother and faster. As long as everyone knows what to look for and where to look, you’re set.
Assign each person a specific area or room to focus on to avoid overlap. This way, you can cover more ground without worrying about missed spots.
Bluntly stated there’s no set rule for how often you should inspect for bed bugs. The key is to be vigilant and to act quickly if you spot signs of an infestation. Regular inspections – whether weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or otherwise – can help ensure bed bugs stay away from your den.