The words “bed bugs” are enough to make the skin crawl on most of us. These pests are nuisances that have the ability to instantly turn your property upside-down. Mackoul & Associates, Inc. has put together an overview of what you should know about bed bugs.
What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?
Adult bed bugs are rust colored with flat bodies and are about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs are often confused with other small household insects such as beetles and cockroaches.
Bed Bug Bites
Not everyone will have a reaction to a bed bug bite. For those who do, bite marks may appear immediately or within a few days. They can be small bumps or large itchy welts. If your bite becomes infected, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
You can identify an infestation by reviewing physical signs in your home. Bed bugs often dwell in bed coverings, mattresses and furniture. According to the The U.S. Environmental Protective Agency, physical signs can include:
- Tiny black dots in your bedding or furniture (bed bug excrements)
- White colored eggs and eggshells (about 1mm)
- Skin shedding
- Rust colored stains in bedding from crushed bed bugs
How Can You Prevent Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs can enter homes by latching onto furniture, bags/luggage and clothing. Precautions can be made to decrease your chances of getting an infestation:
• Carefully check the bed and furniture when traveling. Keep suitcases off the floor and bed. Inspect luggage and clothing again when you arrive back home.
• Be weary of used furniture. Do not bring bed frames, mattresses, box springs or fabric furniture found on the street into your home.
• Thoroughly inspect all used or rented furniture for bed bug signs.
• If you find out that you have been in contact with bed bugs, immediately wash and dry your clothing on hot settings.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
If you have bed bugs, notify your landlord or neighbors. Contact a pest management professional as soon as possible to treat the problem. Tenants whose landlords do not promptly respond to bed bug complaints can call 311 and file a complaint with the Department of Housing Preservation
The U.S. Environmental Protective Agency’s website is a great resource http://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/ for further research.