Bed bugs are a common pest throughout America. Like many of the worst insect pests, bed bugs drink blood which means the most common way of finding out you have them is by getting bit. Bed bugs usually enter our homes via clothing, furniture, or moving boxes. Once they find a home they can quickly infest it. A single female bed bug can lay thousands of eggs in her lifetime.
How To Identify Bed Bugs
Bedbugs are relatively small. Adults are about half a centimeter or the size of an eraser head on a pencil. They are oval-shaped and usually greyish in color. They cannot fly and most commonly live in upholstered furniture and textiles. Like fleas, bed bugs have to be introduced into a home. There are often horror stories of motels and hotels with large bed bug problems that then spread bed bugs to homes and apartments throughout the country.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs
The following tips can help you prevent bed bug infestation from your home.
- Check secondhand furniture and clothing. If you get any furniture from a yard sale, garage sale, or from goodwill, you should always check it for bed bugs and make sure to clean it.
- Be careful when using shared laundry rooms. If your building has a community laundry room or you are using a laundromat down the street make sure to inspect your clothes after they come out of the dryer for bed bugs. This is why folding your clothing at the laundromat or in the community laundry room is a great practice.
- Inspect your suitcase after traveling. The common horror story is homes getting infested after visiting the wrong hotel or motel. Make sure to check your suitcase for any hitchhiking bedbugs before your stow away your clothing.
- If you live in a larger building make sure to secure your living space. Multi-home buildings and apartment buildings can run the risk of spreading pests. Make sure to seal cracks in the flooring and baseboards around your unit (it can also help decrease noise pollution from your neighbors).
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you already have bed bugs you likely want to get rid of them. Of course, a pest control company may be the quickest and most effective way to get rid of a pest. And if you live in Massachusetts or Southern New Hampshire we would be happy to provide a quote. But there are a few ways homeowners and renters can deal with their bed bug problem on their own if needed. Make sure to do your research on the products that are available. Foggers can effectively get rid of pests but it is important to make sure to research how the product works and how to do it safely.
How To Treat Bed Bug Bites
Typically a bed bug bite is harmless like a mosquito bite or a bite from a flea. It may be very annoying and may cause extreme itchiness. Home remedies for itching include oatmeal baths for the affected area, but there are also topical creams that can help reduce the itchy sensation. Fortunately, bed bugs do not seem to spread illnesses like fleas, rodents, and ticks.