Avoiding Bed Bugs
Anytime you visit someone's home there's a chance you'll come into contact with bed bugs. Here's how to keep from taking the pests home with you.
When delivering Mobile Meals, there’s a possibility that a client’s home might be infested with bed bugs. Taking these precautions can protect you from transporting bed bugs from one client’s home to another, and to your own home.
Wear clothing that prevents bed bugs from hiding easily. Light colored clothing makes it easier to spot bed bugs. Avoid wearing clothing with built-in hiding places (i.e., pants with cuffs, bulky sweaters).
Wear clothing that can withstand a hot dryer. High temperatures (at least 140 degrees for at least 20 minutes) will kill any bed bugs that might get on your clothing.
When possible, leave coats, jackets, and mittens in your car. Otherwise, do not lay down your outerwear inside a client’s home.
Remove paper bags from the insulated carry bags before handing meals to the client on the doorstep. If you must enter the home, do not set down the insulated bag inside.
Do not take your purse into a client’s home.
Inside a Client’s Home
Do not sit down inside a client’s home. Keep away from upholstered furniture or bedding.
When standing inside a client’s home, do not stand on carpeted areas or rugs. Try to stand on solid flooring surfaces.
If bed bugs are clearly visible inside a client’s home, leave immediately—there is likely a heavy infestation.
If the client lives in rental property, suggest that he or she notify the landlord or health department about the bed bugs. If the client owns the home, suggest that he or she contact a pest control company as soon as possible.
Leaving the Client’s Home
Inspect your clothing for bed bugs before returning to your car. Don’t forget to check your shoes and anything your carried with you.
Insect repellants are not effective for avoiding bed bugs.
Remember that bed bugs require people to transport them between locations. If you suspect that you came into contact with bed bugs while delivering Mobile Meals, take caution in delivering the remainder of your route. If you have questions, contact the Mobile Meals office at 419-255-7806.
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, N.D. Bed Bugs Do Not Discriminate: Common Sense Advice for Home Visitors, found at dhhs.nh.gov.