Someone I Know has Bed Bugs – Now What?
While we’d like to tell you to stay calm, the reality is that if someone you know has bed bugs, you are at risk. Thinking about it like a cold, if you hang out with someone that is sick with a cold, you could very easily get the cold as well.
Bed bugs aren’t going to be much different when it comes to risk and exposure. Having a heads up is a good start, but you have to protect yourself and your household!
Understanding Top Bed Bug Exposure Risks
Understanding the top risks and where folks become exposed to bed bugs, is the first key to protecting yourself. If you think bed bugs are from travel only, it’s time for a refresher!
In Northeast Ohio, bed bugs are most commonly going to come from the following;
- Friends and Family
- Kids’ Friends or Neighbors
- Shared Custody
- Babysitters, Day Cares and School
- Nursing Homes and Assisted Living or Home Healthcare
- Job Exposure
If someone you know has told you that they have bed bugs, it’s time to take action. Another common way someone will tell you is by saying “I think I may have been exposed to bed bugs and just wanted to let you know” .. Most don’t want to admit it, and this is a way to alert you of a potential issue without admitting anything directly.
What to do if Someone you know has Bed Bugs
In a perfect scenario, if someone you know has bed bugs, the best way to protect yourself is to cut contact for the time being until they seek professional help and their home is cleared of having an issue.
If this is not possible, such as in a childcare situation, in a co-parenting scenario or work exposure, vigilance is key. The risk will still be there, but there are ways to minimize it.
- Only take what is absolutely necessary (no extra bags, coats, etc)
- When you leave, change! Change into fresh clothes and put everything that may have been exposed into the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes
- For diaper bags, back packs, etc- Do NOT bring them back into your house! Keep them in a sealed trash bag in your car.
- Stay vigilant in your home – Inspect and dry all bedding and blankets at least once a week.
- Check for fecal stains, skins and live bugs in your beds, along the seems, and in all couches and chairs
- Call for an inspection if you find evidence that you have brought the issue to your home
The bottom line is the only way to minimize exposure if someone you know has bed bugs, is to limit contact or at the very least, limit anything being taken back and forth that could have live bed bugs on it. This is definitely not an easy feat, but it can be done. Keep in mind we are in homes every single day, and the vigilance goes a long way to preventing bringing bugs back to our office and homes. (knock on wood!)
If you suspect someone you know has bed bugs, tell them to call us! We are the only full service bed bug company in the area, and our process works! It can be a delicate topic but it absolutely needs to be addressed to avoid spreading the problem further and further!