You should be able to sleep a little easier knowing that we follow best practices to prevent bed bugs at all of our apartments in Philadelphia, but we need the cooperation of everyone to keep these pests away!
According to the EPA, you can prevent bedbugs by following just a few simple precautions:
– Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
– Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes.
– Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
– Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
– Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)
– If you are living in a Philadelphia apartment building, try to isolate your unit by: (1) installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways; and (2) sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes: The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are found in all 50 states: Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West.
Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing: Nearly 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels; 52 percent on public transportation; 49 percent in movie theaters; 44 percent in retail stores; 40 percent in medical facilities; 36 percent in their own homes; and 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends’ homes. The fear of getting bitten topped the list of concerns.
As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation: Of the precautions being taken, 27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip, 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs, 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs. The survey goes on to show that 16 percent inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes, 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing and 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store. Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home, 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home and 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.
Despite the availability of information, most Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs: Nearly half of respondents incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease. However, research conducted to date has shown that bed bugs do not transmit disease to their human victims, although some people may experience itchy, red welts. Still, 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households and 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes. However, bed bugs do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions.