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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Real Facts About Bed Bugs

Many people remember a popular expression, "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite," from their parents or grandparents. Lately, however, bed bugs have become much more than a bedtime nursery rhyme.

Bed bugs have become a real problem in hotels, college dorms, and apartment complexes, and even on cruise ships. They have been spreading in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and other areas in Europe. Bed bugs are annoying and ugly, but they do not pose a health risk. Here are the facts about bed bugs.

The presence of bed bugs does not indicate a lack of cleanliness

Bed bugs can be found in the cleanest environments, including five star hotels. They can come from any number of sources and end up in your house. Bed bugs latch onto clothing, used furniture bought at garage sales, luggage, boxes and bags. They can crawl along pipes and on wires through heating and cooling vents. Hotels, dorms and apartment buildings are at greater risk due to the number of people sharing sleeping quarters.

Bed bugs are not a health hazard

Bed bugs are not dangerous. They do not spread disease. But they do bite, leaving a mark that is similar to mosquito or flea bites, and the bites cause itching. In some cases, people who are allergic to bed bug bites may experience swelling and pain with bites. In rare cases, it can cause anaphylaxis.

You can identify bed bugs

There are signs to look for in order to find out if you have bed bugs. Bed bugs live on blood, so they often leave blood spots that might look like rust on mattresses and in bedding. This can usually be found in the seams, side binding or crevices in mattresses. It may even have a sweet, musty odor. If you don't actually see bed bugs, you may see the skin they leave behind after molting.

You can get rid of bed bugs

Bed bugs are best treated by professionals, such as pest control companies. Although mattresses can be cleaned, bed bugs travel and can be throughout the house, so professional treatment is advised. Bed bug bites can be treated the same as mosquito bites, with antiseptic lotion or cream, and with antihistamines.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.