Bed Bugs 101
It seems you can’t turn on the news or pick up a newspaper without glimpsing a frightening report of a bed bug infestation. From luxury hotels to small apartments to every home in between, these insects can be found all over the world. Although they were thought to have been largely eradicated from the United States since the 1940s, these pests have returned with a vengeance, wreaking both physical and psychological damage.
What Are Bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on blood. They usually hide where people gather or sleep, such as headboards, furniture, or clutter found around the home, but their favorite nesting spot tends to be in mattresses. You can pick up bed bugs just about anywhere, but they often find their way into luggage during trips. It’s also possible for your pet to bring them inside after he’s spent time outdoors.
Although bed bugs don’t spread disease, their bites can cause an allergic reaction. What’s often worse, though, is the shame many people feel when they find out that their house has an infestation. In the past, people believed that a bed bug problem was the result of poor cleaning habits, but that is just not the case.
Signs of a Bed bug Infestation
Signs that these pesky critters have taken up residence include bites on the body that occur while sleeping, blood smears on sheets, or a musty odor. They can be hard to spot until the infestation has taken hold, and they can be even harder to eliminate. Some enterprising pest specialists have taken to using dogs (typically a breed such as the Beagle, known for his sense of smell) to root out bed bugs where they hide.
How to Eliminate Bed bugs
Take any washable bedding, slipcovers, curtains, clothes, pet beds, etc., and wash and dry them on the highest heat possible. This will not only help kill adult bed bugs but the nymphs as well. Protect your clean linens and clothing in plastic bags. (Vacuum-sealed is ideal.) Vacuum affected areas several times a day, and dispose of the vacuum bag outside so as not to reinfest your home.
Treat non-washable items with a home spray, like Bio Spot Active Care™ Flea & Tick Home Spray, to kill bed bugs and their nymphs. Spray furniture, rugs, carpets, and other affected areas. Keep repeating the treatments until you can’t find any signs of infestation.
Bio Spot Active Care is a registered trademark of Farnam Companies, Inc.