Bedbugs can be transported from hotels or other homes so vigilance is vital, especially if you travel frequently or often have guests that stay overnight.
By: Karen Barnes
Imagine the scene: The holiday visitors have left and the household is just beginning to settle back into its normal routine when you notice itching on your leg. A close examination reveals a cluster of small bumps, almost like a rash dotting the skin in a cluster. Though the bites look and feel almost like those left by a mosquito, you quickly figure out that mosquitoes are unlikely to be eating a big meal in the middle of the winter. Thus, the horrifying realization dawns; the household has been invaded by bedbugs.
Reports of bedbug infestations are on the increase, but there are some simple steps you can take to avoid this unpleasant scenario happening in your home:
How to Determine the Source
Because bedbugs are minute, around ¼ inches long, they are difficult to spot. Although this pesky critter can cause severe itching, panic is unnecessary because it does not carry any known diseases. Still, an invasion can be maddening for fastidious women who work hard to keep their households clean and orderly. Look for signs of bedbugs – red or dark brown spots – in the following places:
• Around the seam edges of mattresses, couches, or upholstered chairs.
• On indoor pets
• In rugs and carpets
• In dresser drawers
• In the folds of curtains
• In the hems, pockets, or pleats of clothing
Bedbugs can be transported from hotels or other homes in suitcases and clothing so vigilance is vital, especially if you travel frequently or often have guests to stay overnight. Looking at bedbug pictures online will help you know how to spot the warning signs.
How to Slow Their Spread
The best course of action is to take these early preventative measures:
• Buy plastic pillowcase and mattress covers to use when guests are expected to stay overnight.
• Heat all new or used clothing, in the dryer at high heat for at least a half hour to kill active bugs or their eggs. Also do this with any clothes in your suitcase when you’ve stayed away from home.
• Keep beds pulled away from the wall.
• Dispose of shopping bags that have contained clothing in an outside container.
• Vacuum habitually and place used vacuum bags in containers outside of the home.
• Vacuum mattresses every time you vacuum the floor or run a hot hairdryer over their surfaces.
• Caulk cracks in the wall of the home that would provide a hiding place for insects.
• Check online reviews before booking a room in a hotel – previous guests will likely report any incidences of bedbugs.
Once bedbugs have found their way into a home, it is challenging to get rid of them. Many people suggest throwing away a mattress that has become infected. At the very least, it should be scrubbed from one end to the other with a rigid brush. Another suggestion is to put glue boards beside the legs of all beds in the home. However, most people with a bedbug problem end up leaving the eradication of these parasites, which thrive on human blood, to a pest control expert. This will give you the peace of mind that they have all been eliminated.
By taking the precautions outlined above, knowing the warning signs, and being especially vigilant when travelling, you can greatly reduce the chances of these pests invading your home.
About the Author:
Karen Barnes believes people should be more aware of how bedbugs are spread, and hopes the information in this article will help other women avoid any unpleasant encounters with these pests.