Today with have a great guest post from Karen Barnes from BedBugs.org.
Vacation season is here and that means people are getting ready to travel. Although it is not a pleasant topic, bed bugs are out there. Here are some tips on how to prevent bringing them home and how to get them out of your house if they get there.
As a parent, having a bedbug infestation in your home is a horrifying prospect. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your family from nasty bug bites by keeping your home free of an invasion. Read on to learn of some tips that will help protect your family and keep your home free from these horrible pests.
What signs should you look for?
• Bedbugs are oval in shape, flat, and brown in color, although they will appear reddish-brown when they have recently had a meal of blood. They are very small, only about a quarter of an inch in size when they reach adulthood. Bedbugs do not have wings, so they cannot fly around the house. The bites may resemble mosquito bites, taking on the appearance of little red bumps. Usually, bites will be found in a linear pattern of three or four together.
Actions you can take
• Frequent and thorough vacuuming is a good way of sucking up any bedbugs that might be in your home before they have a chance to multiply. The bedding, especially mattresses and box springs, are ideal hiding places for bedbugs. Bedding can be vacuumed with special cleaning attachments, and upholstered furniture can also be vacuumed thoroughly. Do not forget to go over the carpet, curtains and draperies, and nooks and crannies where little bugs can easily hide. Dispose of vacuum cleaner bags very carefully.
• Steam cleaning carpets will also help to rid the home of any bedbugs, as they cannot tolerate heat.
• Wash all bedding in the hottest water possible for the fabric, and use the hottest dryer setting that is safe for the fabric when drying the items.
• Do not use dust ruffles on beds. Bedbugs will use these items as hiding places and also as a way to climb from floors into bedding.
• Keep clutter to a minimum. An assortment of items scattered around the house provide numerous places for bedbugs to call home.
• A severe infestation should be handled by a professional exterminator, as this is the best way to get rid of bedbugs when there are quite a number of them.
Take precautions when traveling
• Vacation season is here, and bedbugs can be picked up while away and brought into the home. When taking a trip, you might want to use hard-shell suitcases and keep your clothes in plastic bags within your luggage while you are away.
• Upon arriving home after your vacation has ended, inspect luggage and all packed items very carefully. You will want to unpack your suitcases outside or in the bathtub.
• Wash all clothing items immediately in hot water and dry them on the hot setting of your dryer, being careful to use the highest setting that your items can tolerate so as not to ruin your clothing but to effectively kill any unwelcome visitors.
Bedbugs have made a comeback, but this does not mean that you have to live with them. Put into practice some or all of the tips listed above and keep your family safe in a bug-free home.
Guest author Karen Barnes writes for http://www.bedbugs.org/, which has some practical advice on how to deal with these nasty critters, including how to treat a skin rash caused by the bites.