The dreaded bed bugs, what can you do to avoid them? What if you do get them? Do you know how to get rid of them? The more education you have about the topic of bed bugs, the better able you will be to both avoid them, and get rid of them if you happen to get an infestation.
Bed bugs are non life-threatening, but they are incredibly annoying. The reason you hardly feel a bed bug bite is because they secrete a pain-killing solution into your skin as they bite. You don’t notice the bite until several hours or days later when your skin pops up with itchy bumps. Although it is unlikely you will have any serious health problems from bed bugs, no one likes the idea of bloodsucking bugs invading their home!
Here are some steps you can take to identify and avoid bed bugs:
Signs of an infestation
Bedbugs generally colonize and multiply quickly. While the bed is the number one culprit for their home, they will also live anywhere they are within easy access of food. Chair cushions, sofas, and loose wallpaper can all be a home for bedbugs. The signs of an infestation often occur on your body. You may notice a sudden line of itchy bumps on your skin. Bed bugs eat in a line, so a straight line of small bites is a telling sign. Check under folds of the mattress or cushions for signs of the bugs. They may leave small specks of feces behind, or you may find a bug or two crawling around. They have flat, circular bodies and look similar to ticks.
If you have an infestation, call an exterminator who specializes in bed bugs right away. The bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of, and usually require professional help to eliminate.
Avoiding bed bugs
Try these four tips for avoiding bringing the creepy crawlies into your home:
Look before you sleep:
When staying in a hotel, check the room carefully for bed bugs. Look under the mattress seams, any chair cushions, and in any areas with loose wallpaper. If you see signs of bed bugs, request another room immediately.
Regularly clean pet upholstery:
Bed bugs are not confined to humans. They will also attack animals. If you have animals in your home, wash their bedding and other upholstered items once a week in hot water to discourage the bugs from taking up residence.
Take care of luggage:
Keep your luggage away from the floor, beds, or other cushioned surfaces to prevent them from crawling aboard and coming home with you.
Take preventative action:
If you are worried about bed bugs, clean out all luggage with a vacuum when you arrive home. Wash all clothing in hot water. Store your luggage away from your sleeping areas.
If you follow these steps, you should be able to avoid having the bugs invade your home. Prevention really is the best way to avoid these unwanted houseguests. But if you do see signs of an infestation in your home, call a professional immediately. The sooner the problem is addressed, the easier they are to get rid of.
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger. When she is not working she likes to read and do yoga.