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Bed Bug Prevention

To prevent bed bug infestations, there are several key steps you can take:

  1. Thoroughly inspect hotel rooms and be careful with luggage while traveling.
  2. Protect your mattress and box spring with mattress covers.
  3. Get rid of clutter in your property as much and as often as possible.
  4. Be wary of bringing used furniture inside.
  5. Learn how to recognize the signs of bed bugs.

While it can be challenging to completely prevent bed bugs, staying informed and taking proactive measures can greatly reduce the risk. 

Additionally, in Knoxville, there are six specific tips to keep bed bugs out, including knowing the signs, being cautious with used furniture, covering power outlets, using mattress protectors, practicing caution while traveling, and maintaining cleanliness and inspection routines. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth and blood, not dirt and grime, so it’s important to take preventive measures to keep them out.

To protect your apartment unit from bed bugs, there are three essential steps to follow:

  1. Stay aware of and know the signs of bed bugs.
  2. Always tell your property manager or landlord as soon as your notice bed bug problems.
  3. Practice prevention methods, including covering your mattress and being careful in laundry facilities.

Bed bugs can spread between apartments, attaching themselves to belongings and moving from one unit to another. It is crucial to take immediate action to prevent the spread and inform the responsible parties. Landlords are typically responsible for extermination costs, unless the tenant introduced the bed bugs. Knowing the signs of infestation and promptly reporting it to the property manager can help prevent the problem from worsening and spreading to other units in the apartment building.

3. How to prevent bed bugs in dorm rooms

To prevent the spread of bed bugs in college and at home, it’s crucial to take certain precautions. They include: 

  1. Inspecting luggage and suitcases for bed bugs
  2. Always covering mattresses with protective covers
  3. Inspecting second-hand furniture for signs of bed bugs
  4. Inspecting room for signs of bed bugs before moving in or out

Student housing, such as dorms, is particularly susceptible to bed bug problems due to the constant influx of students from various locations. Common bed bug hotspots in dorms include beds, couches, communal areas, chairs, baseboards, dressers, and clothing. 

College students can unknowingly bring bed bugs home during breaks, so it’s important for them to pack their suitcases carefully, wash all clothing in hot water, steam-clean the suitcase, and store luggage off the ground. By staying vigilant, maintaining cleanliness, and taking precautions while traveling, college students can reduce the risk of bed bug infestations.


While there is limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of all-natural remedies, some people have relied on certain methods to help deter bed bugs. These include trying: 

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Essential oils
  • Peppermint
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Dryer sheets
  • Baby powder

However, it’s important to note that these remedies have not been extensively proven to work against bed bugs. DIY treatments may offer some repellent effects, but they are not sufficient for eliminating bed bug infestations. 

To effectively get rid of bed bugs, it is always recommended to seek professional extermination services, particularly through steam or heat treatments. In addition, to minimize the risk of bed bug problems, it’s important to be aware of the signs of bed bugs, practice caution while traveling, and inspect used furniture before bringing it into your home. However, it’s crucial to recognize that bed bug infestations can be unpredictable, and prevention methods may not always be foolproof.

5. Can I prevent bed bugs when purchasing used furniture?

To minimize the risk of bed bugs when purchasing used furniture, there are three key steps to follow:

  1. Try to avoid buying upholstered used furniture.
  2. Inspect anything and everything before buying.
  3. Consider getting items treated before bringing them indoors.
  4. Using a steam cleaner on the item at high heat.
  5. Never bring in free furniture from the curb!

First, try to avoid buying upholstered furniture as it tends to be more prone to bed bug infestations. Second, thoroughly inspect the furniture for any signs of bed bug activity, such as small black spots or blood dots, paying close attention to undersides, cracks, joints, seams, creases, and other hiding places. If any signs are found, it’s best to avoid bringing the furniture into your home. Lastly, consider getting the furniture treated by a professional before bringing it indoors, especially if you have any doubts about its bed bug status. 

If you encounter a bed bug problem with used furniture, notify the seller or store owner and seek advice from a professional on the appropriate steps to eliminate the infestation. It’s important to keep the infested furniture outside until it has been properly treated.

6. How to prevent bringing bed bugs into your home

To avoid bringing bed bugs into your Knoxville TN home, there are several preventive measures you can take:

  • When traveling, always check for signs of bed bugs in hotel rooms.
  • Before purchasing used furniture, carefully inspect it for any past or active signs of bed bugs.
  • After a trip, make sure to check your suitcase for bed bugs before bringing it inside your home.

Here are some additional tips to prevent bed bugs after a trip:

  • Check the lining and inside of your suitcase.
  • Wash all clothes in hot water and dry them thoroughly.
  • Vacuum or steam-clean your suitcase before storing it away, preferably off the ground. 

Remember to stay proactive and vigilant in checking for signs of bed bugs, whether you have upcoming travel plans or someone returning home from college. It’s also beneficial to schedule regular pest inspections with a knowledgeable exterminator who can identify and address any potential bed bug issues.

7. Can pets spread bed bugs?

Pets themselves do not general spread bed bugs.  Bed bugs are not known to latch onto cats or dogs in the manner that fleas do. However, they can still infest pet bedding.

While bed bugs prefer to feed on humans, they can bite dogs, cats, rodents, and birds. However, bed bugs do not live on or burrow within your pet’s fur. If your pet is bitten by bed bugs, the bites will appear as tiny red bumps on their belly or limbs, usually in areas with less hair. If you notice your pet itching, biting, or displaying signs of discomfort, it’s advisable to look for signs of bed bugs in your home.

Bed bugs are not as dangerous for pets as they are for humans. However, if you find bites on your pet, it’s important to inspect your home for bed bugs. Look for shed bed bug exoskeletons near or in your pet’s bedding and check for live signs of bed bugs, such as along the seams of bedding or on tags. If you find evidence of bed bugs or are uncertain whether the bites are from fleas or bed bugs, it’s best to contact an exterminator to assess your property.

8. How to prevent bed bugs from spreading in Knoxville

If you discover bed bugs in your property, there are important steps to take to prevent their spread and worsen the infestation.

  • Avoid moving or discarding infested furniture, as this can lead to the bugs spreading to other areas.
  • When transporting infested bedding, use plastic bags to contain them.
  • Declutter your living space and thoroughly vacuum to minimize hiding places for bed bugs.

Although bed bugs reproduce relatively slowly, they can still spread unnoticed, so prompt action is crucial to prevent further infestation.

9. Does anything keep bed bugs away?

Being extra cautious is the best way to avoid a bed bug infestation in your home.

To prevent bed bugs in your home or property, follow these four key measures.

  • Learn to recognize the signs of bed bugs, such as fecal spots and bites.
  • Exercise caution when purchasing used items by thoroughly inspecting them for bed bug signs.
  • Be vigilant while traveling and inspect hotel rooms and carefully unpack your suitcase upon returning.
  • Take precautions at home, such as covering power outlets and using mattress protectors. 

If you want to be proactive, you can vacuum regularly, reduce clutter, and be cautious when using shared laundry facilities. While there’s no foolproof method, staying proactive and seeking professional help when needed can aid in long-term bed bug prevention.

10. Who's at risk of getting bed bugs in Knoxville?

Bed bugs can infest any home, regardless of cleanliness, and certain groups of people are at higher risk. These include:

  • College students
  • Recent travelers
  • Used furniture buyers
  • People who have stayed in infested environments

Hotels and motels are particularly susceptible to bed bug infestations due to frequent occupancy and the ease with which bed bugs can spread between rooms. 

To protect against bed bugs in hotels, research and read reviews, inspect the room, and keep your suitcase elevated. Dorm rooms are also prone to infestations, so it’s important for college students to report signs of infestation and clean their belongings before storing them. Bed bugs are opportunistic pests that can infest any home as long as there is a host to feed on, so it’s crucial to be aware of the signs and take preventive measures.