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Bed Bugs – Traveling Past the Sheets

Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:21 AM

They may be crawling around in airport waiting areas, public transportation, department stores or hotel rooms before making their way into your home. Bed bugs—per their name most commonly found in, besides and near your bed—can be extremely hard to identify and costly to extinguish. While they don’t typically move far from their blood source, these bugs have become an increased problem in the United States.

Felissa Kreindler, MD, points out some ways to avoid bringing these pests into your home and how to identify a problem:

  • Check for bites. Bed bug bites typically resemble mosquito bites. Bites can often be found in linear groupings along the vein line. Rashes on the skin may also be visible.
  • Inspect luggage thoroughly before bringing it into the house after traveling. It’s recommended to vacuum out any luggage and run all clothes (clean and dirty) through the washer and dryer as extreme heat kills bed bugs. It can also be helpful to wrap suitcases in plastic wrap while traveling.
  • Clean up your home. Bed bugs like to hide in dark places and excessive clutter can help provide these pests with a home. 
  • Carefully inspect items before you bring them into your home.  If you buy new or used furniture, you’ll want to thoroughly check it outside for evidence of bugs before bring it into your home. The same holds true for clothing and other household items.

Have you or someone you know been affected by bed bugs? Are you surprised to learn of all the public places they may be found?