Preventing Bed Bugs 101

Good night. Sleep tight…

We’ve all heard the nursery rhyme, but did it ever really make sense?

Bed bugs were a distant memory for many people until just a few years ago. At one time they were eradicated in the United States, but made a comeback in recent years.  And they can be a real nuisance once they get into your home.

So how do you prevent a bed bug problem? Here are our tips for preventing bed bugs.


  • Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation, summer camp or dorm and throw away the vacuum bag or clean the canister. Wash all clothing from the suitcases in hot water.
  • Before sleeping in a bed at a hotel, rental property, camp or dorm, check the mattress, bed sheets, and headboard for tell-tale blood spots or signs of bed bugs.
  • If signs of bed bugs are spotted, alert the hotel or rental property staff.  Each hotel or rental property should have a Bed Bug Management Plan in place to assist you as the problem is addressed.
  • Inspect all second-hand furniture and mattresses thoroughly for bed bug signs before bringing them into your home.


  • Consider bringing a large plastic trash bag in which to store your suitcase during stays at hotels, rental properties, dorms or camps.
  • Carry a flashlight with you to inspect mattresses and furniture in your vacation property.
  • Read “Bed Bugs: Your Guide to Prevention, Detection & Treatment,” a NCPMA booklet available through our member companies.


  • Seek professional pest management to address an infestation. Trying to treat a problem without a professional can make the problem worse and more costly.