It's easy to understand why so many people are terrified of getting bed bugs in their home -- it's extremely difficult to get rid of the little critters. In fact, in many cases it's nearly impossible to get rid of bed bugs on your own. Instead, you have to call bed bug exterminators to get rid of the problem for you. Fortunately, there are several simple things that you can do to help ensure bed bugs don't call your house home.

Complete Regular Bed Checks

Regularly checking your mattress for bed bugs is extremely important, because the tiny bugs can easily be carried into your home on the clothing of a family member. A good rule of thumb to follow is to inspect your mattress for signs of bed bugs each time you change your bed sheets. Unfortunately, it isn't very likely that you'll see an actual bed bug, because they are nocturnal. So, keep an eye out for these signs:

  • Tiny dark spots that could be feces from bed bugs. The spots might be a circular shape, but they can also appear to bleed into the fabric on your mattress in the same way that a dot from a marker bleeds on fabric.
  • Rusty or reddish-brown stains on your mattress. These spots could actually be crushed bed bugs.
  • Small, pale-yellow debris, which could be eggs or eggshells that baby bed bugs have shed.

Immediately Unpack After Traveling

It's common for bed bugs to infest hotel rooms, and because the tiny insects are difficult to spot, many people accidentally bring them home from a trip. Before they know it, they have a massive bed bug infestation, which can only be rectified by hiring bed bug exterminators to get rid of the bugs. So, when you come home from a trip, immediately:

  • Remove everything from your suitcase, and wash all of the clothing that you've traveled with -- even if the clothes are still clean.
  • Before you put away things that you can't throw in the washing machine, such as accessories, shoes, and souvenirs, take the time to inspect each item thoroughly for bed bugs.
  • Use the vacuum cleaner to vacuum the inside and outside of your suitcase before you put it away.

Get Rid of Household Clutter

If you have a lot of clutter in your house, you're more likely to have a pest infestation. Unfortunately, houses that have more clutter are also also harder for professional bed bug exterminators to treat, because there are a lot more places for bed bugs to hide. So, in order to prevent a bed bug infestation, regularly go through the things in your home and get rid of any belongings that you no longer need.

While it can be difficult to clean out a home with a bed bug infestation, it's easy to prevent the bugs from infesting your home. By cleaning out the clutter in your home, regularly inspecting all of the bed mattresses in your house, and cleaning items that you've traveled with as soon as you arrive home, you'll reduce the risk of infestation.