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Bug Off

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The best defense is a good offense, right? Nobody wants to even think about bed bugs, but it’s better to have all the facts than to be blindsided if you ever end up with an infestation. The myths, the facts, and tips for ridding your home of these mini-monsters…

What is a bed bug? || Bed Bugs are visible to the naked eye; about the size and thickness of an apple seed and reddish brown in color. They live on human blood; however they can live for months without feeding. Their bite resembles other types of bug bites and since some people do not have a reaction to bed bug bites the only way to confirm you have an infestation is to identify the bugs in your home. They reside together in tight spots like cracks, seams of luggage or clothes, and may also take shelter behind wallpaper or inside mattresses, box springs, and furniture.

Myth || Bed Bugs are only found in dirty, cluttered homes or hotels.

Fact || Even the most immaculately clean homes and hotels can attract bed bugs, but ridding your home of unnecessary clutter will reduce the number of places they can live.

Myth || They only bite in the dark.

Fact || Though more active at night, they’re not nocturnal bugs which means they can bite any time.

Myth || If you have bed bugs you have to get rid of infested clothing, furniture, and mattresses.

Fact || Laundering clothing will get rid of the bed bugs and in most cases furniture & mattresses can be treated unless the infestation is so severe that there is no adequate treatment.

Prevention || Bed bugs are professional hitchhikers. Be mindful when purchasing secondhand furniture, mattresses, and clothing; inspect each article before taking it into your home. The same rule of thumb should be followed when traveling -- inspect the luggage rack and beds for any kind of residue or bugs. Using a protective cover on you mattress & box spring will help to eliminate hiding spots and make them easier to spot if an infestation does occur. Vacuum your home frequently especially if there is a possibility you may have come into contact with bed bugs. If you are living in an apartment complex with shared laundry or if you use visit a laundry mat, transport your wash in plastic bags and promptly remove from dryer directly into the bag and fold at home.

Treatment || The aforementioned preventative measures will also help in the treatment of bed bugs, but you can also obtain special non-toxic glue traps that will aid in early detection of an infestation. Simply place the traps at the corners of your mattress and under furniture cushions. Sometimes it is necessary to seek help from a professional exterminator, but be sure it is a reputable company as insecticides alone can rarely eliminate the problem. Non-chemical methods such as superheating infested rooms should be integrated into the bed bug removal program.

For additional information regarding treatment & prevention please visit the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website:

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