I Have Bed Bugs, What Do I Do Now?

Image Credit Piotr Naskrecki|http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/home.asp
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Went on vacation and came home with bed bugs? Not sure what to do now? Read on for bedbug prevention and removal directions.

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Bed bugs were once thought to be a pest that had long since been extinguished from western societies. But since the opening up of mass travel to Africa, Asia and other locations bed bugs have made a serious comeback in Europe, Australia, as well as North and South America.

But what are bed bugs, how did they get into your home and what does it take to get rid of them. The answers may actually be simpler than you might think in terms of both prevention and eradication of bed bugs.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are very small parasites that live off the blood of humans. They are called bed bugs because that is where they set up their nest. During the day, bed bugs can be found inside the mattress or often in the carpet very near the bed. At night, they come out and crawl into the bed to bite and lap up the blood of those who are sleeping.

Since they are so tiny, most people will not feel the bite, but they will notice the tiny spots of blood on the sheets and mattress as well as the small bites on their skin. Bed bugs are highly specialized parasites that generally only feed on human blood, unlike fleas or ticks which prefer a wider range of mammals.

How Did My Home Get Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs do not travel on their own, so the only way they can enter your home is on the person or possessions that enter and stay in your house. Quite often, people bring back bed bugs when visiting other countries. Also, family or friends that stay over can bring bed bugs in with them. It is very rare that animals carry bed bugs, but it is possible.

Once the bed bugs get inside your home, they identify the places where you and your family sleep and move to those locations. As they are quite small, they are nearly impossible to see unless they stand out against a white or bright backdrop or flooring.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs

Prevention is actually fairly easy if you never travel nor have guests come over to spend the night as bed bugs have no other way into your home.

However, for those who do travel, it is best to keep the luggage off the floor and away from the bed. That way, bed bugs will not migrate to your luggage. Plus, put all of your unwashed clothes in a plastic bag and sealed tight until they are washed as this will destroy the bugs. I even like use a travel sized bed bug repellent spray that I spray into the bag with the dirty clothes.

Do not bring your luggage into your house when you return home, leave it out in the garage and unpack making sure to wash everything first.

How To Fet Rid Of Bed Bugs

To get rid of a bed bug infestation, remove all the sheets and bedding from the mattress and clean them mixing in a little bleach. Also, mop or vacuum the floor, particularly around the legs of the bed and end table as that is where bed bugs have most likely made a nest. You can use a plastic sheet on top of the mattress, but under the bedding to prevent any remaining bed bugs from reaching those who are sleeping. Trying a bed bug spray is another good option.

If the bed bugs have already taken over and you cannot get rid of them then the only option is to call a professional exterminator that specializes in beg bug removal. This process involves chemicals and often requires multiple treatments over several weeks and months.