I got to spend my Halloween week learning about bed bugs, which turned out to be way scarier than any horror movie or costumed kid that came to my house Halloween night. Don’t let the fear get to you, though. Education is key to bed bug prevention. Here’s what you need to know:
Bed Bugs are small, oval, non-flying insects that belong to the insect family Cimicidae. Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length and have flat bodies. They feed on blood from humans or other animals, are reddish-brown in color, and can go long periods of time in between feedings.
While most associated with hotel rooms and bedrooms, bed bugs are on the rise, and have even been found in a federal building in Washington, DC.
Here are a few quick tips for bed bug prevention:
- Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation.
- Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs which eliminates many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasements regularly for holes.
- Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
- When traveling:
1) In hotel rooms, use luggage racks to hold your luggage when packing or unpacking rather than setting your luggage on the bed or floor.
2) Check the mattress and headboard before sleeping.
3) Upon returning home, unpack directly into a washing machine and inspect your luggage carefully.
Don’t be scared. Now you know what they are and how to prevent them. If you find that you have a bed bug infestation, know that we have the insecticides necessary to fight them.