Terminix, the popular pest control service provider, has ranked where bed bugs are most prominent in the nation based on service calls from January through July of this year.
According to their recently released list, Oklahoma City ranks 9th for the pesky bloodsuckers and service providers received complaints from over 1,000 home owners since January 1.
Here are five ways to make sure these little vampires don’t follow you home:
1. Around people? Check yourself! Look for the bugs.
According to Terminix’s director of services, Paul Curtis, bed bugs are found in places where people travel and where people gather. They feed on all animals but for unknown reasons, prefer humans.
“They can travel to new locations very easily, hitching a ride on clothing, handbags, suitcases and taxis,” Curtis said.
When arriving at a hotel, dormitory, airport or even a movie theater, keep an eye out for bed bugs. They are flat, oval-shaped brown bugs about the size of an apple seed. They prefer to lurk in small cracks and crevices close to where people rest.
2. Look for their leftovers.
Bed bugs mark their territory with small blood stains they take from their human hosts. Their feces also indicate an infestation. Bed bug feces are thin brown rust colored stains.
3. Invest in protection.
One of the easiest ways to prevent an infestation in your home is to invest in plastic mattress, pillow and furniture covers that bed bugs have a hard time attaching to.
4. Shake it off!
Even if you don’t see bed bugs while lodging away from home, use precautions to ensure that if they’re in your area, they won’t attach to your belongings. Hang up clothing instead of placing them in drawers and make sure you don’t leave any clothes on the floor.
Also, make it a habit to inspect the mattress you’re sleeping on nightly. To do this, remove the sheets and look at the area of the mattress closest to the headboard where bed bugs prefer to linger due to the warmth they sense from humans at night.
5. Burn them out.
One final step to prevent a bed bug infestation in your home is to take off all of your clothes upon your return and immediately place them along with the clothes you took on your vacation in your washer then dryer. Within 30 minutes, the heat from the dryer will kill bed bugs and any eggs they might be carrying.