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Bed Bugs – How do I get them?

Bed Bug InfestationIf your wondering “how did I get bed bugs” here is a brief history. Bed bugs were transported to the Americas by early colonists aboard sailing vessels. Some surveys say that up to 1/3 of homes in heavily populated cities have a bed bug problem. Lower income areas of these cities were nearly 100% infested.

There is no one way to determine how you get bed bugs. Keeping a clean house and being aware of the signs of bed bugs are key to preventing an infestation. Many infestations start by bringing the bugs into your home without even knowing it, for example, from a recent stay at a hotel. Here are a couple ways to prevent bed bugs from invading your home:

  • When staying in places such as hotels, keep your cloths farthest away from the bed.
  • Put your luggage on a dresser or table instead of on the floor.
  • Place your luggage into a dry cleaning bad which most hotels provide.
  • Do not bring a used mattress into your home without knowing where it came from.

Bed Bugs – If you notice signs

If attempting to treat bed bugs on your own be careful when using toxic sprays. You should only resort to bed bug spray after doing a thorough cleaning to your home.

If you begin to see the signs of bed bugs you should take the following steps.

  1. Place all linens into a sealed plastic bag to stop the bed bugs from spreading. These items should be washed in either very hot or extremely cold temperatures. See bed bug treatment for more details.
  2. If linens cannot be washed put them in a dryer at a very high temperature or get them steam cleaned. Other items may have to be sealed and thrown out.
  3. Vacuum all furniture. Remove all slip covers and clean thoroughly. You will want to get rid of any bed bug eggs or nymphs which are easily missed by the naked eye.
  4. Clean any crevices you may have in your floors. It may be time for a bit of do-it-yourself house work. Do not leave anything uncleaned including curtains. After vacuuming remember to throw away the bag as bed bugs or eggs could be contained.
  5. Discard any old magazines or newspapers. Bag them, seal them and throw them in the garbage.
  6. After these steps have been taken, you can begin treatment.

Bed Bugs – Be sure its a bed bug

Bed BugsTo be sure you have bed bugs you should find the bug itself. Do not assume that a small bite may be a bed bug bite. Without a positive identification doctors will not be able to give an accurate diagnosis as many bites may look the same. Obviously if find bugs in your linen or furniture you should call in the professionals to get a positive identification.

The only way to know for sure if you have bed bugs, is to produce an actual sample of the bug itself. Do not automatically assume that any bite-like mark is a bed bug bite. Also it is important to realize that medical professionals cannot give a positive diagnosis simply by examining bite symptoms, they can only suggest some possible explanations for what may have caused the bites/symptoms to occur. Obviously if you see bugs in your home associated with your bedding or other furniture, you should have it examined by a bed bugs professional that is qualified to provide a positive identification.