How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Bed Bugs

The current increase in bed bug infestations in hotels, hospitals and homes has caused panic in some households. Just the thought of small spiders living in your bed and couch causes immediate itching and scratching in even the most level headed of people. Here are some tips on how to identify and treat bed bugs, as well as how to prevent re-infestation in your home.

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are parasitic insects. Approximately the size of an apple seed, they are oval shaped and reddish brown in color. They spend the day hiding out in the cracks of your mattress, box springs and even head board. They venture out at night to feed on any humans that are sleeping in the bed. Chances are, you won’t even see the bed bugs. You may, however, notice the bumps left behind from their bite. Bed bug bites look a lot like any other insect bite, a red bump on the face, neck, arms or hands. They may present themselves in a line or in a cluster and may cause itchiness. People who are very sensitive to the bite may develop blisters or hives at the bite site.

How do bed bugs look like

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How can you get rid of bed bugs? Aside from the bedroom, bed bugs may also take refuge in the seams of your couch upholstery, under loose wall paper, and in your carpet along the baseboards. Female bed bugs usually live about 10 months, and lay around 200 eggs during that time. Because of this, it’s quite easy to be very infested in many parts of your house in a fairly short period of time.

It’s extremely difficult to get rid of bed bugs on your own. The best way to eradicate these pests is to hire a professional in pest control. Expect the professional to look through virtually everything in your home, turning up cushions, looking under the bed and turning over the mattress. Believe me, you want them to do this. Finding the bed bugs is half the problem. After locating the bed bugs, the exterminator may treat the areas using heat, industrial vacuuming, or a special product.

How can you prevent bed bugs from returning?

Bed bugs can travel from place to place in luggage, on clothes, or just by crawling. If you are traveling in an area with bed bugs, you may bring them home with you in your suitcase. To avoid this, keep your suitcase zipped and up off the floor. Heat does kill bed bugs, so wash and dry your clothes on high heat if you think you’ve brought some home. You can also prevent the infestation of bed bugs by never buying a used mattress or box springs, and stay away from secondhand bedding.


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Having bed bugs doesn’t mean that you or your home is dirty. They aren’t born out of filth, but rather simply from another human host. Being able to identify, knowing how to treat, and knowing how to prevent bed bugs will help you get rid of these unwanted house and bunk mates.


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