When you work as an in-home nurse, social worker, cleaner, or other professional who spends time in other peoples' homes, bed bugs should be a top concern on your mind. Its very easy to pick up a hitchhiking bed bug or two from someone whose home is infested, and before you know it, your home is infested, too. Here are some tips to follow to avoid picking up bed bugs as you travel and spend time in others' homes.
Wear simple clothing without a lot of embellishments.
Avoid wearing clothes with a lot of pockets and deep seams where bed bugs could hide. Wear light-colored pants and shirts with a simple design so you can easily glance over them before you leave a house and ensure they're free from bed bugs. Avoid dark clothing and patterns since you may not spot a bed bug on them. Also avoid scarves and handbags, as they make good hiding places for bed bugs. If you need to carry a bag for your job, choose a hard-sided bag that zips up completely.
Bring your own hard chair.
Get into the habit of packing a hard, folding chair in your car. If the home does not have a similar chair you can use, bring your own inside. This way, you do not have to sit on soft furniture that may be harboring bed bugs. Also try to set your bag and other supplies on a hard surface like a table or a hard chair, rather than on a sofa or upholstered chair.
Wear "booties" over your shoes.
You can find protective vinyl "booties" at most home improvement stores, as people may wear them when remodeling homes. They slip right over your shoes. Carry a set in your car, and put them on over your shoes before entering a person's home. This way, you won't pick up bed bugs from their carpet. As a bonus, you won't have to worry about tracking dirt onto your customers' floors. When you take the booties off, inspect them to ensure they are free of beg bugs before you put them back in your car.
Carry plenty of Ziplock bags in your car.
If you do ever end up in a home where you see bed bugs or strongly suspect there are bed bugs, you will want to seal items like your booties, bag, and socks up before putting them in your car. This way, you won't end up with a bed bug infestation in your car. Carry plenty of large Ziplock bags around so you always have the means to do this. You may also want to carry a plastic tote in your car so you can easily seal up larger items like clothing or your notebook.
Have your car vacuumed regularly.
Get into the habit of vacuuming your car at least once a week. This way, if you do carry a bed bug or two into the car, you can hopefully get rid of it before it gets carried further into your home. When vacuuming, pay careful attention to any seams and folds in the seats, as these are places where bed bugs like to hide.
Always be on the lookout.
The first few times you visit a particular home, be especially on the lookout for bed bugs. They have flat, ovular bodies and area about the size of an apple seed. If you visit a home a few times and see no signs of bed bugs, then you can let your guard down a little during subsequent visits. However, you should still follow basic precautions like inspecting your clothes before you leave and wearing booties over your shoes.
Remember, bed bugs don't only infest dirty homes. A client's home could look neat and tidy and still be infested with bed bugs, so take these precautions in every home. For more information, contact companies like Godfather's Exterminating, Inc.
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