A surge in international travel in the early years of the 21st century has caused a resurgence of the bed bug. These little brown bugs are troublesome and have a bite similar to a flea. While it is common to find these bugs in your bed, they can also invade your favorite recliner or sofa. There are several ways to tell if you have a bed bug infestation and the good news is that it isn't very difficult to rid your bed and your home of these little brown bugs.
Do I have Bed Bugs
Since these little brown bugs like to hide in the dark and only come out during the pre-dawn hours to feed, it may be hard to see them. You will most likely see or feel the bites they leave on you first. Check the seams of your mattress and mattress tag for these little brown bugs. Adults are about ¼ inch long and are a reddish-brown color. A good way to locate bed bugs is to take a large piece of two-sided tape and run it down the seams of your mattress or sofa. If you have bed bugs they will likely stick to the tape. You may also notice tiny brown specks near the seams that appear to be dirt but are really bed bug excrement.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Since an adult bed bug can live for a year without feeding, sealing your mattress or sofa in plastic to starve them isn't very practical. Calling a professional pest control technician is the fastest way to rid your home of bed bugs, but you can also choose to battle these bugs on your own if you believe the infestation is contained to your bed or another small area. Put all bed sheets, blankets and pillow cases into the clothes dryer for at least 30 minutes on high heat. Vacuum and steam clean the mattresses and bed frame thoroughly as well as the carpet in the room. You may want to repeat these tasks weekly until you are certain there are no more little brown bugs in your bed.
Preventing Bed Bugs
You can minimize threat of bringing bed bugs home with you by following a few rules. Since the biggest risk of getting bed bugs occurs during travel, make sure to use the luggage rack. Don't place clothing on the beds where bed bugs can hitch a ride. Use the clothes hangers in your hotel room instead of draping coats on chairs. If you are purchasing used furniture such as mattresses or a sofa, you may want to think twice about where they came from. Make sure to inspect them thoroughly before bringing them into your home.
More Bed Bug Information
These pesky little brown bugs are usually found where people sit or sleep. One bed bug can lay 200 to 250 eggs during her year-long life span. Bed bugs feed an average of two to five minutes in one feeding. If you are planning to travel, visit bedbug registry.com to see whether your hotel has had reported outbreaks of bed bugs before your stay.
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