The dreaded topic in NYC...bed bugs. Youíre not alone if these two words give you the creepy crawlies. These relentless and down-right horrible bugs are a huge problem in such a populated city. The unfortunate truth is these pests could ride home on your shoe and cause a problem later on, so even if you moved into a "no bed bug history" apartment, the name of the game is prevention, prevention, prevention. Iíve gone through the extermination process within my first year of living here and let me tell you, it is no slice of peanut butter fudge cake.
The below precautionary measures not only act as a chemical free option to clean and sanitize your entire home (which is great if you have kids or pets), it also acts as a way to keep these pesky critters OUT all year long. Of course, please keep in mind, if you suspect that you may have a full-blown infestation, inform your landlord immediately and let them handle it.
What to Buy to Prevent Bed Bugs in NYC and Your Home:
Save yourself the headache and go ahead and grab some mattress, box spring, (if you have) and pillow bed bug encasements. Here are a few reliable brands Iíve scoped out in the past: Utopia, SafeRest, and Sleep Defense System. Not only will these keep the pests without a place theyíre most comfortable **Gross** but these encasements keep dust mites and allergens out as well keeping you healthy and your belongings in excellent condition.
You all, this is - hands down - the best investment Iíve ever purchased for keeping my home, not only sparkly clean, but bug and germ-free as well. The Vapamore boasts that it sanitizes your entire home with no chemicals by heating up to 210-220 degrees, which coincidentally will kill a bed bug, their eggs, **Again, Certified Gross** along with any germs, giardia, viruses, dust mites, mold, and mildew. Iíve mopped my floors with this thing, Iíve steamed wrinkles out of a dress before heading out on the town, Iíve deep-cleaned my bathroom, stove, and windows and Iíve even removed coffee stains from my couch cushions! I really should be sponsored because I have nothing bad to say about this Lifetime Warranty piece of equipment. (;
Now this one may sound a bit crazy but this fun word to say has really been a stroke of magic in my home and if you donít believe me, google it! This odorless, tasteless, food grade powder has a wide range of benefits when consumed including lower cholesterol levels and improved skin, hair, and nails. I have never tried consuming it but it also has a very interesting effect on "He Who Must Not Be Named." (;
Since the powder is toxic-free and food grade, it is safe to use throughout your home even if you have children and/or pets. It can be sprinkled within your pillowcases, bed encasements, floorboards, within your couch cushions, rugs, and I even shoot it behind the face plates of wall sockets! With the help of this handy dandy stuff, if a bug was to ride home with you or a neighbor, whenever a bed bug comes in contact with this powder, itíll scratch their exoskeletons and they will die within a week. BOOM! I know what youíre thinking, "Okay, Shaleigh, enough with the gross details."
When I went through a (bug) scare a few years ago, I spoke to the NYC bed bug hotline (yes, it exists) and they were who recommended the encasements and the Vapamore. They recommended steam cleaning my home once a month (or every 3-4 weeks) and there is pretty much no way Iíd experience an infestation. This has been true for me. That combined with the encasements and diatomaceous earth, your home sweet home is in the clear.
I truly believe that if more New Yorkers practiced these easy and chemical-free preventions, not only would our homes be sparkly clean but our bug issues would be cut down significantly. Share with your clients, share with your friends and most importantly, write it down for yourself, friends and help prevent bed bugs in NYC! <3
Check out more of Bohemia Realty Groupís Shaleigh Phillips here!