As children we thought this was just a saying. Little did we know that bed bugs actually exist... EEK! Bedbugs are small brown bugs with flat oval-shaped shells. They hide during the day in beds and carpet and at night they come out and bite you while you are sleeping. Bedbugs are mostly found in dorms, hotels, shelters and hospitals and are currently making a comeback with the increased rate of international travel.
How do you know if you have bedbugs? Bedbug bites are often dark red and itch like mosquito bites, but instead of having one bite, bedbugs often leave a trail of bites on your body. If your mattress or sheets have tiny dark spots, small bug shells, or small bloody stains you could possibly have bed bugs.
What do you do if you think you have bedbugs? Make a doctor’s appointment and bring a list of recent hotel stays and international travel. The doctor will examine your bites and together you will make a plan of action which may involve over-the-counter medicines or an antibiotic.
They are in my house, what do I do? Bedbugs invade the cleanest of houses. Bedbugs are not a sign of a dirty house. Vacuum every carpeted area, crack and crevice in your house and immediately empty your vacuum cleaner outside. You don’t want them crawling back in your home. Wash all your clothes in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer. Extreme heat and extreme cold will kill bed bugs. A professional exterminator may be well worth the cost. They will be able to kill bed bugs where you can’t.
How did they get into your house? Because bedbugs often live in hotels, they can simply jump on your clothes or in your suitcase and take a free ride to your house. To prevent bedbugs from traveling with you, try to avoid putting your suitcase on the hotel floor or leave your dirty clothes lying around.
I travel all the time, how can I protect myself? When you enter your hotel room, immediately check the seams of your mattress. Remember to but your suitcase on a dresser. Do not leave your suitcase or your dirty clothes on the floor. Wear pajamas to protect yourself against bedbugs.
For more information visit
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Health Services, Bed Bugs
References Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Environmental Health Services, Bed Bugs. Last reviewed 23 Aug 2010. Website:http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/Topics/bedbugs.htm MayoClinic. Bedbugs. 02 Sept. 2010. Website:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedbugs/DS00663 WebMD. Don't Lose Sleep Over Bed Bugs. Website: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/dont-lose-sleep-over-bed-bugs