June 30, 2015 by Doug Moore
The numbers of bed bug infestations are on the increase with the number of reported instances up by a massive 5000%
Bed bugs are popping up in a multitude of places – homes, businesses, hospitals, care centers, even on buses and airplanes!
So how on earth are they spreading at such a rate?
The answer is fairly simple – they will happily hitch a ride in your clothing, in books, luggage or furniture. While the assumption is that bed bugs are usually picked up while staying at hotels or motels, this is not always the case. It has been known for children to carry bed bugs into school in their clothing and they have then spread by transferring from child to child causing bed bug infestations at numerous locations.
So, what should you do if you suspect that your home or hotel room or workplace may have a bed bug infestation?
Below are listed 10 tips. These describe what you should look for. Even if you don’t have bed bugs by following these you can prevent an infestation from ever occurring!
1. If you are staying at a hotel, no matter how reputable, the first thing you should do is check the bed. Remove the sheets, etc. and physically inspect the mattress and box spring. Use your fingers to check along seams at the top and bottom. Be sure to check around any buttons or handles on the sides of the mattress. These are favorite hiding places for the little blood suckers. If there’s a head board attached to the wall, try to dislodge it from the wall and look behind it – yes, it’ll be very dirty, but there shouldn’t be critters crawling behind it.
2. The second thing to look for are very small dark colored spots – there is a chance that these could be bed bug fecal matter. Also check for live bugs and skins which are shed as the bug grows – these are translucent.
3. Take time also to check for bed bug eggs. These are a bit smaller than a grain of rice and white in color. Often these will be found along the edge of the mattress.
4. Carefully check bedside cabinets, dressing tables, etc., particularly in drawers and underneath. Clocks, radios, and light switches are among other favorite hiding places. A good rule of thumb is to check anywhere which is fairly dark as this is the most likely place for the bed bugs to hide out. If you have any doubts DO NOT unpack your clothing and personal belongings.
5. It is always wise to ensure that any luggage you may have with you is kept off the floor and firmly closed at all times. This should prevent the bed bugs from infiltrating your clothing and belongings and bringing an infestation to live with you.
6. If you become aware of a strong odor in a room, this too can signal a significant bed bug infestation. The smell is often described as being sweet – a bit like fresh raspberries.
7. Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security because the hotel you’re staying in has just opened its doors. The guest who spent the night before in the room may have brought bed bugs from down the road in his luggage! ALWAYS CHECK even in the most upscale hotels.
8. If you do find signs of a bed bug infestation inform the hotel management immediately and request another room in a different part of the hotel. Bed bugs do travel and can easily move about from room to room.
9. Before you leave it is essential that you check your luggage carefully, item by item. This may seem over the top but it will ensure that you are not taking home any unwelcome guests which will not leave again easily.
10. If you do discover bed bugs in your luggage make sure that the items are laundered in a hot wash and, if possible, tumble dry on a high heat setting.
Hopefully these tips will help you decide if you have a bed bug infestation on your hands or not. If you are unfortunate enough to uncover such a problem in your home you will need a fast, effective treatment. Consult a pest control professional! Do not attempt to eradicate these critters on your own!
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