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Bed Bug 101: Preventing Bedbugs at Home

Bedbug feeding on blood, Bedbug bites, Bedbug nymph feeding

This image is a bedbug nymph feeding on blood.

Researchers throughout the world are spending millions of dollars a year in an effort to control the ever-growing bed bug pandemic.  Bedbugs feed on human (and animal) blood, and their bites cause small itchy blisters on the skin that often result in allergic reactions.  These insects are found in many hotels and resorts throughout the world.  Unfortunately for you, the hotel owners could ruin their reputation if they admitted to having an infestation.   Adult bedbugs are very small and can hide unseen in a crack or crevice of your suitcase, while the young bedbugs are transparent and nearly invisible to the naked eye.

The reality of the situation is that bed bugs are very difficult to kill, and quickly become resistant to the insecticides that were previously used to exterminate them.  However, a few preventative measures when you are traveling can allow you to sleep at ease and return home bedbug free.

#1 Check your Hotel Room

Bedbug mattress,  Bedbug waste, finding bedbugs, killing bedbugs,

Bedbug waste found in mattress.

When you arrive in a hotel room, the first thing you should do is to check for bed bugs.  After a blood meal, bed bugs will excrete waste as they travel back to their hiding spots.  This waste appears as pinhead sized black dots, which will often be found in clusters.  Check for small black dots along the edge of the mattress, under pillows, underneath sheets, and behind the headboard.  If you find these clusters of spots then there is a really good chance the room is infested with bedbugs.

#2 Preventing Hitchhikers

One of the most common ways that people unknowingly infest their houses with bedbugs is by bringing them home in their luggage.  When you stay at a hotel, keep all your personal belongings up on a table or on hangers in the closet.  Keep them a good distance away from the bed.  Bedbugs like to stay close to where they find their meals, so leaving your suitcase on the bed or on the floor is an open invitation.

#3 Plan Ahead

Do some research and find out which hotels are safe and bedbug free.  Bed Bug Registry.com is an excellent resource for planning ahead to avoid bedbugs.  Instead of finding out too late that your hotel or apartment is infested you can check them out online and see if there have been any reports of problems with bedbugs.

Treating your home for bedbugs will be very expensive, time consuming, and often unsuccessful.  With a little planning you can prevent them from ever having a chance to enter your home.

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