Preventing bites

  • Cover up. Because bedbugs don't tend to burrow under clothing, you may be able to avoid bites by wearing pajamas that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Bug spray. Insect repellents designed to protect against mosquitoes or ticks aren't very effective against bedbugs.
  • Mosquito netting. Bed nets impregnated with the pesticide permethrin may help protect sleepers against bedbug bites. However, this practice may be helping bedbugs develop resistance to this pesticide.

Preventing infestations

  • Secondhand items. Inspect used mattresses and upholstered furniture carefully before bringing them into your home.
  • Hotel precautions. Check mattress seams for bedbug excrement and place your luggage on tables or dressers instead of on the floor.
  • Birds and bats. Eliminate any neighboring bird and bat habitats that may serve as a refuge for bedbugs.
Feb. 10, 2015