Bed bugs always seemed like just some urban legend we were told as kids to help give us nightmares at night, who knew they were real. These little bugs are pretty scary too because they are a little insect that feeds on human blood, kind of like a tick but without the dreaded Lyme Disease. These pesky little bugs become active at night and creep around in bed with us, hence their fitting name. They are about the size of an apple seed, so easy to see, and they have a flat rust colored body. When they feed on human blood they turn a brighter red color. Scarier yet, bed bugs can live for many months without feeding!
If you have a bed bug problem some of the signs will be the bugs themselves, living or dead. You may find little blood stains on your pillow or sheets where bugs have been crushed while you slept. Look for dead bed bugs in the seems of your mattress, in the bed springs, between floor boards and even behind the head board of the bed.
If you like to travel your bed bugs are happy to travel with you. They will hide in your bedding, your luggage and even your clothing. Each place you stop and stay and unpack your stuff you will leave bed bugs behind to infest yet another place.
If you find that your home is infested with bed bugs you can take a few steps to help rid your home and your life of this little critters. First you will need to clean all of your machine-washable items that are in the infested area with the hottest water setting possible and dry them on the hottest dryer setting possible. You can also have them dry cleaned.
Scrub the seams of the mattress to remove any bugs and eggs that may be hiding there by using a stiff brush. You will need to use a good vacuum that has a HEPA filter to clean the mattress, furniture, floors and carpets in the infested area. Don’t miss any cracks or corner or you won’t be killing off your infestation, and make sure to dispose of the vacuum bag prior to using it in any other room.
Your mattress, and/or box spring, will either need to be stored for at least a year in an air-tight plastic bag or it will need to be discarded. When discarding an infested mattress you need to cut holes in it so that no one will be able to use it again, seal it in a large plastic bag as to not spread the bugs and eggs, and put a large sign on it that says “infested with bed bugs”. If the proper instructions are followed to fight bed bug infestations we will begin to see them less and less and they will not be so easily spreadable.
Huron County Health Department. Bed Bugs-Fact Sheet.