Travelers and homeowners alike are concerned with the possibility of unintentionally inviting bed bugs into their beds and upholstered furnishings. Since bed bugs can travel from place to place by hitching a ride on luggage, clothing or even pets, it’s vitally important to keep an eye on beds, furniture and carpeting to see if you need bed bug treatments. Most reputable hotels schedule regular inspections with a licensed professional exterminator to nip any infestations in the bud, but that does not mean a few of the little critters won’t escape detection and end up as uninvited guests in your home. Following are a few important tips for eliminating the nasty little pests and having a pleasant, bite-free sleep.
About the Bed Bug
As members of the genus Cimex, these parasitic insects were nicknamed for their tendency to favor habitats where humans sleep. Bed bug nymphs are lightly colored and molt six times before reaching adulthood; the clear, empty exoskeletons they leave behind are one of the tell-tale traces of an infestation. Fully grown bed bugs are between four and five millimeters in length and light brown in color. Their flat body enables them to sneak through tiny seams and narrow crevices.
Not only are bed bugs unsightly and difficult to eradicate, they can also cause a host of health issues, including allergic reactions and skin rashes. You may wake up in the morning with bites on the neck, hands, arms or face along with associated swelling, itching and redness. Some people think they’ll be safe if they switch on a lamp before going to bed. However, although they are nocturnal feeders, bed bugs will also feed in daylight, so keeping the lights on at night will not deter their attacks.
If you’re waking up a little itchy in the morning, check your bed, upholstered furniture and carpets for signs of an infestation. Indications the little pests are in your furniture include tiny, dark-colored fecal spots, clear exoskeleton molts and smears of blood. To do a thorough inspection, you’ll need to pull back all linens, lift the mattress and look around all seams, tags, dust ruffles, sheets and pillowcases. They love to hide around mattress tags and bedposts. You may also notice an odor reminiscent of over-ripe raspberries.
What to Do
If you think you have a bed bug problem, call a licensed professional exterminator as soon as possible. It’s very difficult to rid your home of these pests on your own and the sooner you call for help, the more successful you’ll be. If you’re seeing telltale signs of an infestation, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344 for a complete evaluation of your bedbug situation.
Image via: Bed Bug Image Location