We’ve all heard the horror stories of bed bugs…the tears, the fears of these creepy crawlies can give even the most rational people the “heebie-jeebies”. While we know the stories, do we really know what to do when the bed bugs bite? Can your latex mattress help prevent bed bugs? What’s the first step in identifying the problem and most importantly, do you know how to get rid of bed bugs? Well read on and you’ll find out.
Recognizing Bed Bugs
The first step in getting rid of bed bugs is recognizing their presence in your bed. According to NYC Gov, bed bugs are small insects that feed mainly on human blood. A newly hatched bed bug is semi-transparent, light tan in color, and the size of a poppy seed. Adult bed bugs are flat, have rusty-red-colored oval bodies, and are about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs can be easily confused with other small household insects, including carpet beetles, spider beetles and newly hatched cockroaches (nymphs).
Bed bugs can also be recognized by their bite. Some people do not react to bed bug bites. But for those who do, bite marks may appear within minutes or days, usually where skin is exposed during sleep. They can be small bumps or large itchy welts. The welts usually go away after a few days. Because the bites may resemble mosquito and other insect bites, a bump or welt alone does not mean there are bed bugs.
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Preventing Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can enter homes by latching onto used furniture, luggage and clothing, and by traveling along connecting pipes and wiring. Below are some tips to remember to prevent bed bugs from entering your home.
- Never bring bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street into your home.
- Check all used or rented furniture for bed bugs.
- When traveling, inspect the bed and furniture. Keep suitcases off the floor and bed, and inspect them before you leave.
- If you suspect you have been around bed bugs, immediately wash and dry your clothing on hot settings or store it in a sealed plastic bag until you can.
- Seal cracks and crevices with caulk, even if you don’t have bed bugs. This will help prevent bed bugs and other pests from coming in.
- Get rid of clutter to reduce places bed bugs can hide. After checking them for bed bugs, consider putting non-essential belongings into storage until the bed bugs are gone from your home. Check all items again before returning.
Most importantly, don’t be ashamed of the fact that you have bed bugs. Any one can get bed bugs, sometimes it doesn’t matter how clean your home is. The most important thing to do is address the problem immediately and handle it so that your home can once again be bed bug free!
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