Although they are tiny, bed bugs can become big problems if they enter your home. While there are things you can do to get rid of these pests if necessary, it's best to prevent them from infesting your home in the first place.
It can take months to eradicate a bed bug infestation in your home, even if you are diligent in your eradication efforts. Despite their name, bed bugs can infest any room in your home, although mattresses may be their favorite breeding grounds. The pests are known for feeding on humans' blood as they sleep, sometime leavings behind itchy welts. Although a bed bug's bite is painless and may even go undetected at first, it can become larger depending on an individual's reaction.
Bed bugs typically attack a person's ankles, or any other exposed portion of skin, at night. Although you can take an antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling if need be, bed bug bites tend to go away on their own in a few days. If they are particularity itchy, you can also slather them with hydrocortisone cream for instant relief.
Better than treating bed bug bites is preventing them in the first place. Here are some tips for keeping the troublesome pests out of your home:
1. Avoid buying used mattresses or fabric-upholstered furniture, which can harbor the bugs from the previous owner's home. Although it may be very tempting to save money on the second-hand furniture purchase, a bed bug infestation may not be worth the extra cash.
If you do decide to buy used furniture, check the pieces out before you bring them into your house. Look for any reddish-brown stains on mattresses or light-colored furniture, which could indicate that bed bugs were crushed on them. Other bed bug signs include small black dots due to excrement, egg casings, or the living pests themselves. If you see any of these indications, don't bring the furniture home.
2. Whether you buy a new or used mattress, make sure you protect it with a plastic cover. Not only will it keep the mattress clean, it will prevent bed bugs from burrowing into it.
3. If you bring your own pillowcases, blankets, or other types of bedding to a hotel, be sure to wash it in hot water immediately when you get home. The pests can hitch a ride on the fabric items, potentially invading your entire home.
If you notice signs of bed bugs in your home, reach out to professionals like Arab Termite and Pest Control as soon as possible.