Bed bugs can be found in houses and apartments, office buildings, stores, buses - any place where people are. They are excellent hitchhikers and are spread by moving furniture, clothing or other belongings from one place to another.
Here’s how to protect yourself:
- Know how to identify bed bugs:
- Bed bugs are small, flat, oval, reddish-brown, wingless insects;
- Adult bed bugs are about ¼ inch long; young bed bugs are quite small and may be clear in color;
- Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but do crawl very fast.
- Know the signs of a bed bug infestation:
- red itchy welts on skin that is exposed while sleeping;
- small black or rusty-colored spots on bed linens, pillows, or mattresses;
- live bed bugs, eggs, and cast skins.
- Inspect for Bed Bugs
- Look for live bed bugs, eggs, or blood spots on mattresses, box springs, headboards, upholstered furniture, papers, backpacks, gym bags, and curtains.
- Treat Bed Bug Infestations
- If you suspect you have bed bugs in your unit, tell your landlord about the problem. The landlord should contact a professional pest control company for advice and assistance. Complete elimination of a bed bug infestation can be difficult and may require several treatments.
- To help with the process,
- Eliminate clutter. Don’t keep piles of clothes, papers, etc. on the floor, under the bed, or in closets.
- Wash infested bedding and clothing in hot water and dry on a hot setting for at least 30 minutes.
- Encase an infested mattress and box spring in a zippered cover that is certified “bed bug proof”. Leave the covers on for at least one year.
- Vacuum bedrooms thoroughly and often, paying attention to the bed and the area around itself. Put the vacuum cleaner bag in a zip-lock plastic bag in the trash outside.
Bed bug infestations can happen to anyone. Do not be reluctant to discuss a possible infestation because of embarrassment. It is important to report the infestation to management. The earlier it is addressed, the more likely it can be quickly controlled.