I'm moving in to a new unfurnished apartment. Many apartments in my city are reported to have bed bugs. Is there anything I can do to prevent bed bugs from moving in? For example, does it help to keep the apartment very clean? Can I prevent bed bugs by putting the legs of the bed in buckets of water?

See also: How to tell if my new, unfurnished apartment has bed bugs?, How do I locate where bed bugs hide?

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    If bedbugs are a problem in apartments in your city I would seriously consider moving to a different city. Bed bugs are terrifyingly difficult to get rid of. – Grant Feb 28 '14 at 4:27
  • @Grant That is, unfortunately, not an option. I have moved 6000 km to take a job in a multi-million people city in North America, and this will be my home for the next three years. – gerrit Feb 28 '14 at 4:40

Two words: diatomaceous earth. This stuff is sold at pool and gardening stores, and it's that killer combination of inert to you but lethal to insects. It's basically microscopically razor-sharp stone, and physical contact with it tends to kill insects by shredding their carapaces and drying them out from the inside (ew). You could surround your bed's legs with this stuff. Put in your mattress, too.

For much, much more info, you may be interested in this account of how one enterprising homeowner managed to not only prevent bedbugs but also treat an existing infestation: http://softsolder.com/2010/11/08/bed-bugs-overview/

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  • I saw a youtube video about this working with ants also, can you confirm? – MDMoore313 Feb 26 '14 at 16:11
  • Should work with any insect. DE is like a wall of razor blades to tiny creatures. But it's also like a wall in that it can't have any gaps or else it's practically useless. – iLikeDirt Apr 18 '14 at 14:53

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