If you’ve been watching or reading the news, then you know we’re in the middle of a bedbug infestation here in some parts of the U.S., especially in big urban areas like New York City. They’re tiny, so they’re very hard to see, and they’re wicked little critters — once they’ve infested an area, they’re nearly impossible to get rid of! If you’re traveling anytime soon, or if you happen to live in a big city with a lot of travelers, then you probably want to know as much as you can about these awful little bugs, including how to prevent getting them! After a lot of research, I can help! Here are 7 things you need to know about bedbugs!
1. You’re Most Likely to Pick Them up in a Hotel
If you travel, especially in and out of big cities, you need to know that urban hotels are magnets for bedbugs, and they like to share! If you must travel, be sure to check your room before you actually bring your suitcases or handbags inside! Be sure to carefully look at the seams of mattresses and chairs, along bed frames and headboards, and in other dark places. What are you looking for? What do these nasty little bugs look like? They themselves are very small, about the size of a grain of rice or an apple seed. They’re dark brown in color. Also, when they grow, they shed their skins, leaving behind empty brown shells. Also, when they’re done feeding, they leave behind little spots of blood… then little spots of bug poo. Gross!
2. Where to Keep Your Bags
Even if you’ve checked your room, and are pretty darn sure it’s not infested with bedbugs, it’s still a very good idea to keep your suitcases and handbags off the floor, off the bed, and off the chairs. Keep them on a stand, or on a hook, away from everything else. It would be horrible to bring bedbugs home with you! And just in case… when you do get home, wash everything inside your bags, then vacuum out the bags, too.
3. They’re Nocturnal
Did you know these little critters are nocturnal, like those other blood-suckers, vampires? That’s why you may not notice them at first, because they’re hiding and sleeping during the day, and they only come out and bite you at night, when you’re sleeping. Creepy!
4. You May Blame It on Innocent Bugs
If you don’t know those bites all over your body are from bedbugs, you might assume they’re mosquito bites… but they’re not. The problem is that because they’re so small, so good at hiding, and nocturnal, you don’t see or feel them bite you, and by the time you develop a welt, it’s been hours.
5. They Can Live for Months without Eating
If you think you can just starve the little buggers out by leaving them in their room for a week or so while you go live somewhere else, think again. Bedbugs can live for months between meals, so you’d have to stay away from your own room for weeks and weeks… who wants to do that?
6. You’ll Need a Pro
If you do have an infestation, there’s really only one thing you can do to get rid of them — call in a professional. Hire someone that comes recommended, and follow their instructions to the letter. Bedbugs are nearly impossible to get rid of, but it can be done.
7. You Can Report It
If you do notice an infestation somewhere, please report it! Tell the owner or manager of the business (especially if it’s a hotel) and also post the info at this website: bedbugregistry.com so no-one else will carry the bedbugs home with them!
They may sound frightening, but you can prevent an infestation, or even get rid of one, if you follow these little tips. They’re so nasty, so insidious, it’s no wonder they’ve been traveling the world for centuries! But you can stop them… do you have any bedbug stories to share? Or any tips on how to spot, or prevent, an infestation? Please let me know!