Bed bugs: You may hear this and immediately think of your bed, your bedroom furniture, the interior of your home. While not one of the seven most common insects found in gardens, these pests can be found in and affect your outdoor spaces as well.
These insects prefer warm areas, and chances are, if it’s warm enough for you to garden, it’s warm enough to attract bed bugs. It’s true that they prefer to live indoors, but the main attraction for where they choose to reside is where they will find food—humans. If you or your family are constantly outside, gardening, playing, or even camping, then there’s a chance you’ve got some of these pesky insects around.
Bed bugs like dark, warm places, so check any outdoor furniture, buildings, cars, or anywhere you have clutter. If you keep your gardening supplies in a shed or in a pile near your garden, check there too. They won’t damage your garden, but they will try to travel inside your home to get the best chance to feed. If you spend a lot of time in your garden, they will use this as a way to infiltrate.
Because bed bugs are known for their traveling skills; they can get to your garden or your home simply by attaching to your bag or suitcase from a trip. If you buy used furniture, there’s a danger of bringing bed bugs to your property. It’s important to be aware of the way these pests move so you can plan ahead.
For instance, if you’re traveling, inspect your hotel room for bed bugs and check the mattresses for any blood spots, from bites. Avoid putting your clothes and luggage on carpet or upholstery, as bed bugs can reside in these and move to your possessions. In fact, the safest place to put your belongings is in the bathroom. Make sure you also inspect your clothing and luggage before bringing them back into your home.
Prevention may be next on your to-do list if you’re truly worried or don’t trust yourself to remember to inspect yourself before going inside your home. Essentials oils have been shown to repel bed bugs, but cannot kill them. You can also do regular inspections to stay on top of any situation.
If you’ve discovered bed bugs, even just outside, it’s imperative to inspect your clothing before going inside. Then, check inside your home, to see if some have already gotten in. To be safe, you can wash your clothes and any sheets in your home on the highest possible heat setting. You should also clean your bed and floors, and then vacuum.
If you find bed bugs, or are just not sure if you’re looking correctly, doing the above can help but you may also want to call a bed bug exterminator. Extermination usually involved a chemical or heat treatment to kill the bugs, and cleaning everything. Trying to exterminate bed bugs by yourself is not a short process, and there’s a lot of room for error, so it may be easier to get professional help.
It’s possible to enjoy your freedom in the outdoors, including your favorite pastime of gardening, but it’s safe to be aware of the issues you may face. As long as you know what to look for, and how to act in the case of a problem, there’s no reason you shouldn’t relax and enjoy your blooming garden.