6 Products for Avoiding Bed Bugs (and Getting Rid of Them If You Have an Infestation)

published Aug 12, 2019
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Credit: Treasures & Travels/Stocksy

Does your skin crawl when you hear the word bed bugs? They’re obviously gross, but they’re even more terrifying because of how easily they can spread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they thrive in warm areas, and will gladly catch onto your bedding, jump to your clothes, and hide in seemingly innocuous places—including headboards, cracks in the wall, and even electrical outlets. Luckily, bed bugs don’t spread disease, but they can create a nightmare situation if you find yourself with an infestation—especially considering that treatment can cost upwards of $500.

If you’re traveling, you should always inspect your mattress as soon as you arrive (look for ink-like stains or shedded bed bug skins). It’s also a good idea to leave your suitcase in the bathroom (an empty bathtub is ideal) so there’s little opportunity for bed bugs to follow you home.

In your home, there are many ways to take precautions against bed bugs. We found some of the best products out there to scope out, eradicate, and protect yourself from these pests.

Credit: Amazon

Place an interceptor under each leg of your bed to catch and kill bed bugs before they reach you. They’ll climb up the exterior walls only to be stuck in the interior reservoirs, thanks to the slippery walls. This method is eco-friendly and doesn’t require chemicals or pesticides. Of course, if you do find bugs in the traps, you’ll want to take an aggressive approach to debugging to ensure that none make it to your bed or clothing.

Credit: Amazon

Meet your new apartment and travel companion. This handy black light reveals hidden pet stains, fluids, and, yup, bed bug droppings. Simply scan it over your mattress, bedding, and other upholstered surfaces to check for the presence of bed bugs (you may catch some other unsavory sights while you’re at it). It’s also good to use on any second-hand furniture that makes its way into your home.

Credit: Amazon

Utopia Bedding Zippered Mattress Encasement, $18.69 for Queen from Amazon

After going through the steps to check for bed bugs and coming up clean, encase your mattress with a zippered mattress protector that’s waterproof, dust proof, and, most importantly, bed bug proof. The thin fabric design of this Amazon bestseller won’t disrupt the cozy feel of your bed, but it will prevent any bugs from accessing your mattress. While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up a pillow protector for $14.99.

Credit: Walmart

Sterilite 66-Quart Storage Box, $14.97 from Walmart

Protect anything you stow under your bed with plastic containers that latch. This particular Sterilite storage box has sliding wheels and a clear lid, plus the lid opens halfway on either side for easy access. It’s perfect for stowing extra linens and seasonal clothing—no bed bugs allowed.

Credit: Amazon

Plug these outlet cap protectors into unused sockets to keep bed bugs from crawling into power outlets. These buggers are pretty smart and can actually travel through walls via outlets to evade exterminators. Scary, right?

Credit: Amazon

ZappBug Oven 2, $349.99 from Amazon

If you really have a fear of bed bugs, consider investing in a bona fide bed bug oven. Use it immediately after traveling by placing your suitcase inside and heating it up—the high temperatures will kill bed bugs at all life stages. If you have an infestation, you can use it on your clothing, bedding, and other personal belongings.