How to Check For Post Holiday Bed Begs | DeluxeMaid

Posted on December 30th, 2023

If you’ve successfully played the role of the gracious host this holiday season, kudos! Attending to your guests’ needs and ensuring loved ones feel welcome and have a wonderful time in your home is no walk in the park. There’s Christmas cleaning and sprucing up your place before they arrive and shopping to ensure they have everything they might need during their stay, from stocking up the fridge and pantry to toiletries and whatnot. Then there’s the aftermath: deep cleaning your home some more and triple-checking that there aren’t any potentially unwanted guests —bed bugs— left behind. It’s a particular concern if your guests have pitstops at hotels or bed and breakfasts during their travels. While the chances of your visitors bringing these tiny hitchhikers are relatively low, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

This article shares tips on checking for bed bugs after your holiday guests have left. 

Do a Visual Inspection

Take a flashlight or the backlight of your cellphone and use the edge of a credit card, debit card, or ruler to scrape different surfaces around the house, starting with the areas where your visitors have spent the most time, like the guest room. 

  • Mattress and box spring: Scrutinize the seams, tufts, and edges of your mattress and box spring for dark reddish-brown spots, which are bed bug excrement. Look for tiny eggshells, which resemble pale yellow grains of rice.
  • Headboard and frame: Inspect the joints and crevices of your headboard and bed frame, as bed bugs love to hide in tight spaces.
  • Luggage rack and furniture: Remember to check the luggage rack where your guests placed their suitcases and any upholstered furniture in the room, especially around the cushions and piping.

Signs of Bed Bug Infestation At Home

  • Bloodstains: Tiny rust-colored spots on bedding or furniture can indicate bed bug activity.
  • Shed exoskeletons: As bed bugs grow, they molt their exoskeletons, leaving behind translucent casings that resemble tiny husks.
  • An unpleasant, sweet smell: A musty, stale odor can signify a more extensive bed bug infestation.

DIY Bed Bug Interceptors

Place interceptor traps under the legs of your bed and furniture. These passive traps will capture any bed bugs crawling over them, giving you a clear indication of their presence.

  • Stick strips of double-sided tape along the edges of your mattress and box spring. Bed bugs will get stuck on the tape, making them easier to spot.
  • Put a small container with baby powder inside it under the foot of bed frames or furniture you suspect has bedbugs. They’re poor crawlers on smooth surfaces, so this stops them, or at least slows them down, from spreading out onto other places around the house. 

What To Do If You Find Bed Bugs

Don’t panic! Early detection is critical to eradicating a bed bug infestation. Here are your next steps:

  • Isolate the infested area. Prevent the bed bugs from spreading by keeping infested items, like bedding and furniture, isolated in sealed plastic bags.
  • Contact a pest control professional immediately. They have the expertise and equipment to eliminate the infestation effectively.
  • Wash and dry bedding and clothing used in the infested room in hot water (at least 120°F) and dry them on high heat.
  • Bed bugs hate the heat! Use a steam vacuum cleaner to clean and disinfect floors and upholstery around the house. 

On the other hand, if your home’s negative for bed bugs, then lucky you! But to save yourself from the stress and anxiety of it next time, don’t take chances and implement a more proactive approach by following these tips from the EPA:

  • Always encourage your guests to inspect their luggage before and after their stay.
  • Invest in luggage covers, mattress encasements, and pillow casings to give yourself another layer of protection against bed bugs.
  • Make it a habit to declutter your home seasonally to get rid of possible hiding spots for them.
  • Vacuum more frequently when you have guests over. 
  • Install door sweeps and seal crevices on the walls to prevent bed bugs from spreading around the home.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of bed bug bites, ranging from mild itching to raised welts. If you suspect you have been bitten, consult a doctor.

Hopefully, our guide helps you keep your home to be a haven for holiday cheer, not unwanted creepy crawlies. Stay tuned to our blog for more expert home cleaning tips!