While bed bugs are blood-sucking parasites, they’re actually pretty smart blood-sucking parasites. Most bed bugs are elusive, hiding behind wall trim and electrical outlets, capable of surviving for up to a year as they forage on your blood.

It’s what makes them so great at spreading from home to home, using second-hand clothing and infested laundry hampers as their main transmission vehicle.

In this guide, our pest control experts will help you identify the source of your bed bug infestation in Baltimore and surrounding areas and outline fifteen tips to help reduce your exposure and eliminate them completely.

How to Identify Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny little insects that have a reddish-brown appearance and tend to resemble small apple seeds. Young bed bugs are even smaller and barely visible to the naked eye.

Most often, you’ll find bed bugs on mattresses and box springs, which is where their name comes from. Since this is where you sleep at night, it provides both the perfect feasting ground and hiding spot.

Therefore, your mattress is the first area where you should check for bed bugs. Some of the more obvious signs include:

  • Blood stains and smear marks across sheets
  • Larva casings or shells left behind on mattresses
  • White oval sacks that are smaller than an appleseed
  • Bite marks across your skin as you wake up
  • A musty odor from your mattress
  • Tiny feces that resemble little black dots across your mattress or walls

Bed bugs are also known to hide behind electrical outlets, wall trim, couches, and any areas that will obfuscate their view.

All The Ways Bed Bugs Sneak Into Your Home

Part of the prevention process is knowing where these pesky creatures come from. Unlike other pests, such as cockroaches and termites, bed bugs don’t come from our gardens or a messy home.

Instead, bed bugs tend to come from other infested areas and hitchhike upon us or our belongings to get into our homes. Some examples include:

  • Second-hand clothing from thrift shops
  • Second-hand furniture
  • Hotel rooms or AirBnbs
  • Public transportation
  • Open windows and doors (rarer)
  • Other units in an apartment building

You are helpless to prevent bed bugs. In fact, there are several steps you can take to mitigate your risk of attracting bed bugs.

11 Tips to Prevent and Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs is tough once they enter your home. But there are several ways to prevent them and act quickly before they spread.

1. Inspect All Second-Hand Clothing and Furniture

Learn the signs of a bed bug infestation and inspect all second-hand clothing and furniture you purchase for these signs. You should usually be able to see bed bugs if they infest a particular item.

2. Immediately Wash All New Clothing

Likewise, you should wash all new and used clothing you purchase on a hot setting to kill any bed bugs. While bed bugs can survive frigid temperatures, the heat does well to kill most of these pests.

3. Wrap Used Furniture in Plastic for Transportation

Avoid transmission to your home by wrapping any furniture you purchase with plastic to trap any bed bugs and kill them. You should also be able to spot any bugs inside the wrap if you look carefully.

4. Install Door Sweeps and Seal Cracks

Sealing any openings if your home will provide added protection, especially if you have close neighbors or live in a multi-unit building. We also recommend sealing up electrical outlets not in use to prevent bugs from hiding behind your walls.

5. Vacuum Frequently

Running the vacuum regularly will help you suck up any remaining bed bugs you may not realize are in your home and stop an infestation before it spreads.

6. Clean Up Any Clutter

Similarly, cleaning up clutter eliminates hiding spots and forces bugs into the opening so that you can spot them.

7. Inspect Suitcases After Traveling

Suitcases and other items can also carry bed bugs without your knowledge if you happen to stay at a hotel or Airbnb.

8. Steam Carpets and Mattresses

Steam is a potent defense against bed bugs, so steam any mattresses or furniture exposed to bed bugs or as a general prevention tip.

9. Inspect Your Pets

While pets are more prone to fleas, they may catch the occasional bed bug, which warrants frequent combing and inspection if you travel with your pets.

10. Use a Bed Bug Spray

When all else fails, bed bug sprays are available that repel bugs from your home. However, these sprays are only sometimes fully effective, may be toxic to pets, and are useless if mishandled.

11. Call a Professional

Finally, you should call a professional exterminator at the first sign of a bed bug. Pest Czar offers professional bed bug control services and canine inspections, which are 99.99% accurate at detecting the presence of bed bugs anywhere in your home.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Call pest Czar today to schedule an appointment so you can go back to having peace of mind.


What scent will keep bed bugs away?

Bed bugs hate the scent of tea tree oil, rubbing alcohol, and peppermint. 

How do you trick bed bugs out of hiding?

Using a hot iron on your mattress can make bed bugs think a human is near and trick them out of hiding. 

Do bed bugs go to every room?

Bed bugs tend to dwell in any room where humans dwell, slowly passing from one room to another. While they are unlikely to enter basements and bathrooms, it’s not completely unheard of.