Bedbugs – What They Are and How To Deal With ThemBy Child Safety Specialist Nov 3, 2010 | 10:00:00 amPosted in: Home
From Four-Star hotels to college campuses, it seems as if bedbugs are moving in! I do a lot of travelling and, I have to tell you, it’s got me creeped out. I’m sure it’s my imagination but I just find myself itching whenever I’m in a hotel bed. I never knew much about these little critters and it seems as if getting rid of them is quite the chore. So, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned:
• Bedbugs are about the size of an apple seed, reddish brown, oval and flat but the babies are colorless which makes them almost impossible to spot.
• During the day they hide in the small cracks and crevices of mattresses, box springs, bed frames and headboards. But, what I didn’t realize is that they can also hide under peeling paint and loose wallpaper, under carpeting near baseboards and even under light switch plates or electrical outlets. This is why they’re so hard to get rid of.
• They don’t stay on a person once they’ve bitten them and they can’t hop but they can crawl about as fast as a lady bug and easily get from room to room. They will also hitchhike home from your trip in your suitcase so don’t leave your luggage or clothes on the floor in a hotel room!
• Usually you’ll know if you have bedbugs by the bites which will be red with a darker spot in the middle, arranged in a cluster and primarily on your face, hands, neck or arms. You can also look for dark specks on your mattress, which could be bedbug excrement. There is also bedbug detection dogs that can “sniff out” the invaders.
• Once your home is infested, it’s not easy to get rid of them. Mosquito and insect repellants won’t work. You can try to do some thorough vacuuming but it’s almost impossible to get into the small crevices. Washing clothes and other items in water at least 120 F (49 C) can kill bedbugs. You can also throw them in the dryer set at medium to high heat for 20 minutes will kill their eggs. Most likely, however, the best bet is to call in an exterminator.
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