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Bed Bugs Solutions

Bed bugs are brown or reddish brown oval shaped insects that feed at night on the blood of mammals. While there are a number of species, the common and the tropical bedbug are generally the ones to feed on human blood. Roughly 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch (4-5 mm) long as adults, bed bugs cannot fly, but can move quickly and readily hide in small spaces.

Bedbugs love bedrooms, because sleeping humans are their prey. They hide in the seams and folds of mattresses and in box springs and bed frames. Bed bugs are small flat red insects that attack a person while he/she sleeps by living in different areas around the bed. Bed bugs do not transmit disease. However, saliva injected during feeding frequently induces an allergic reaction that causes itching, redness, and/or swelling at the site of the bite.

Infestations may be indicated by the appearance of bite marks and the presence of live, crawling bugs. Cast-off skins, and small blood marks from crushed bugs or their feces may also be seen.

Bed bugs are not an indicator of unclean conditions or filth. They live on blood, not garbage. Also, bed bugs are particularly tough to eradicate given their small size, their resistance to many common pesticides used today, and their ability to live for several months without having a blood meal. Infestations can occur in any neighborhood, but tend to be more common in areas with muilti-family housing where population densities are higher.

Housekeeping

  • Remove all of your bedding, including all pillows, shams, quilts and sheets. If you have a mattress cover this should be taken off as well. Wash the items in very hot water with laundry detergent 2 to 3 times a week (high infestation). Bedding should be washed at least weekly in hot water of at least 120oF (50oC), and then dried at the warmest setting safe for the fabric
  • Seal up any potential entrance points in your walls that the bed bugs may hide in. Fixing any holes can prevent bed bugs from reentering your sleeping quarters.
  • Short-term control methods include regular vacuuming of all bedding, carpeting, drapes, and upholstery in sleeping areas, with particular attention to using a crevice tool on seams and folds in mattresses and pillows. When finished, remove the vacuum cleaner’s bag from the premises to prevent reinfestation.
  • Steam cleaning will kill bedbugs in mattresses and box springs, but only within one-half inch (1.25 cm) of the surface. Mattresses may be sealed in plastic to isolate the bugs and prevent them from feeding until they die.

These methods may help reduce an infestation but will not eradicate bed bugs. Hire a pest-control professional to eliminate an infestation. Be prepared to follow the expert’s advice closely on how to prepare your home for treatment. Successful eradication may require a great deal of patience since ridding a home of the bugs without using DDT is an evolving science. It may take as many applications by the contractor to eradicate a bed bug infestation.

Tips for Travelers

  • Examine the hotel/motel room by pulling the bed covers down. If you see moving or crawling pests, or if you see dark spots on the sheets, request to be moved to another room immediately.
  • Look for small blackish or reddish colored dots – this is their fecal dropping. Bed bugs are not parasites – a crawling bed bug on the skin can be easily removed by hand. Bed bugs will hide anywhere – the night-stand, carpeting, drawers, headboards, behind pictures and drapes.
  • Check your clothing, luggage and shoes before you leave the hotel. Vacuum your suitcases and spray with bed bug insecticide before bringing them into the house. Consider packing a large lawn/leaf plastic bag. Encase and tie up your luggage in the bag while in a hotel room. Great as a bed linen spray and bed bug spray for travelers.