I don't know how effective this really is, but all I can tell is that my family in Brazil used to do this and we never had bed bugs.
Grandma Laura's secret was to put a few leafs of epazote underneath our mattresses. This herb seems to have a repellent property against bed bugs.
In case of infestation in the neighborhood, they would also make "brooms" out of epazote to swap the carpets.
Bed bugs had been eradicated for a long time in America but now, they have returned to this area and it's epidemic. If you suspect of bed bugs, don't wait until the infestation is out of control. Call your pest control company right away.
Statewide Termite & Pest Control, Inc. phone number is 775-425-4343