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Sleep tight... don't let the Bed Bugs bite!!

Bed bugs seem to be everywhere these days: they are in hotels, motels, dorm rooms, and even movie theaters... and may be on their way to your home.

Bed bugs at one time were pretty much eradicated in the United States. You didn't hear much about them for years but as time went on and the pesticides that were used successfully to get rid of the bed bugs were banned, the bed bugs have once again made a resurgence. They are immune to many pesticides and that makes them hard to kill. Even a professional will probably have to do many treatments to get rid of them. They are elusive and they travel wherever people go. They will take a ride in your suitcase or in your purse or anywhere else that they can hide.

When you travel, don't buy suitcases that have no zippers on the outside pockets and you should make sure to keep your suitcases zipped. If you have a purse make sure it to can be completely zipped as well. When you leave the place you are staying, inspect the outside of your bags to make sure you don't have any unwanted guests travelling with you.

At home when you have a new mattress delivered you should right away put a zippered bed bug proof mattress cover on it because most mattress stores use the same truck to deliver and pick up your old mattress. If someone else had bed bugs in their old mattress that was transported in the same truck as your new mattress, you might inherit the problem with bed bugs living in your home if you don't put a zippered bed bug proof cover over your new mattress immediately. Once you put the zippered bed bug proof cover on, the bed bugs won't be able to get out and will die eventually. The price of a bed bug proof cover will probably cost you much less then an exterminator. It only takes one bed bug to get in your home and lay eggs to infest your whole home. Keep in mind that bed bugs can go many months without eating so don't take the zippered bed bug cover off. The best defense against the bed bugs is to keep them out of your home in the first place.

If you think your home is already infested with bed bugs then you need to do what you can to isolate the problem. Keep the room free of clutter and hiding places and use a bed bug proof cover on your mattress. You should also look for cracks in the wall, lose electrical plates, lifted up wallpaper or any place else that they could be hiding. The less places they have to hide the easier to find and exterminate them.  Although some people have been successful in removing the infestation themselves most have not been successful so you really should consider hiring a professional.

If you live in an apartment or dorm you will have to get with management so that the whole community can be involved. Without everyone's cooperation,
chances are the bed bugs will be back soon. The longer you let the problem go, the harder it will be to eradicated these bed bugs.

This article would not be complete without letting you know some of the warning signs of bed bug infestations. Things you should be on the lookout for are:

  1. Exoskeleton of the bed bugs: When bed bugs molt they leave behind an exoskeleton that is brownish in color and looks kind of like a squished bug;
  2. Use your nose: Places that are infested with bed bugs will often but not always have a sweet and slightly musty odor in the air depending on how long the infestation has been;
  3. Bed bugs: You may see the creatures themselves in the folds or in the box-springs of your bed. Bed bugs are large enough for your eyes to see but they can flatten their bodies to fit into even the tiniest cracks;
  4. Feces left behind: Bed bugs often leave behind a brownish red or rusty colored spots on the mattress or surrounding areas near the bed;
  5. Bites: You may see bites on your arms, face or feet. They may show up right away or may take a couple of weeks to show up. The bites are similar looking to that of the mosquito.

Just remember that bed bugs will live anywhere that people do. When you are travelling always be on the lookout for signs that they are around and never leave anywhere without inspecting your belongings first. You should be fine as long as you keep your mind open to the possibility that bed bugs might be around.