What’s “Bugging” You?

Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectularius
Photo from Wikipedia

Feel very itchy at night in your college dorm? Wake up in the morning with red dots all over your body? Then there might be a high possibility that you have a bed bug infestation.

Before you book a hotel for your next vacation, you might want to be aware about the potential of bed bugs that could be sharing the room with you. These insects are transient, attaching themselves to clothing or items that may end up moving from room to room; causing them to multiply. Items that land on the floor such as bed linens and clothing are an easy target.

While they do not transmit disease to humans, they tend to leave red, itchy bite marks especially on the neck, arms and legs that may be exposed while sleeping. Although bed bugs are harder to eliminate in multi-unit buildings such as dorms; college students and parents should be aware of these pests.

Identifying bed bugs

Adult bed bugs are approximately a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a flat apple seed or lentil. They’re often found in mattresses and box springs, but can also conceal themselves behind baseboards, wallpaper, and beneath cushions in chairs and sofas.

Prevention

  • Second-hand furniture, more specifically mattresses and box springs, should be thoroughly examined for any signs of bed bug infestations, before brought into a dorm or home.
  • Put protective covers over pillows, box springs, and mattresses before putting on the bed linens. They eliminate bed bug entry and escape points.
  • Keep bed linens only on the bed and off the floor.
  • Inspect sleeping areas and between mattress seams regularly for any pepper-like stains, that indicate bed bug activity.
  • Bed bugs tend to live within 8 feet of sleeping area, to prevent hiding make sure to remove any clutter around these areas.
  • If any visitors, do not place backpacks or belonging onto the bed or any cushioned furniture.

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