A few simple precautions can help prevent bed bug infestation in your home: Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home. Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see.
Try to keep luggage away from bed. Upon returning home, unpack directly into a washing machine and inspect your luggage carefully. Remember that time in a dryer at high temperatures kills the bed bugs (just washing will generally not kill bed bugs). Store suitcases away from your bedroom, such as in the basement or garage.
Bring a large plastic trash bag or two and store your suitcase in it to keep bedbugs out. Some experts even recommend bringing sealable plastic bags or containers to hold your clothing if you plan to store it in bureau drawers, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
This will prevent escaping bed bugs as you try to sort the laundry at home. Set the washer and dryer for the hottest setting that the fabric can stand. If using a dry cleaning service, mention that the items may have bed bugs and that they can keep the articles in the plastic bags until just before loading into the machines.
Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home. Wash all of your clothes - even those that have not been worn - in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.
While checking for bed bugs might not be part of your nightly routine today, in 2010 there was such a resurgence of bed bugs that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a guide dedicated to protecting your home from bed bug infestations.