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How to Detect (and Exterminate) Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are vile little parasites that literally suck your blood while you sleep and you do not want them in your bed, in your house or in your life – but you need to know your enemy before you can exterminate it.
<strong>Bed Bug Detection</strong>
Bed bugs are not impossible to see, size-wise, but they are nocturnal so you’re still unlikely to see them. And, frankly, this is probably for the best (because they are clearly horrifying). Instead, keep your eyes peeled for these signs:
- <em>Skin bites/rashes</em>: They will look red, splotchy and can be located anywhere on the body.
- <em>Fecal spots</em>: Bed bug droppings appear as dark dots that occur in clusters, and rewetting them will cause a bloody smear.
- <em>Exoskeletons</em>: Bed bugs molt and leave behind their exoskeletons, which are visible to the naked eye.
<strong>Bed Bug Prevention</strong>
There are several things you can do to help decrease the odds of infestation. To protect your mattress and box spring, specifically, you can use an <a title="Encasements" href="http://www.atgstores.com/encasements_12777.html" target="_blank">encasement</a> (aka mattress protector) designed to prevent bed bugs from finding their way inside and nesting in your <a title="Bedding" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bedding_1574.html" target="_blank">bedding</a>.
It’s also important to be wary of used furniture and clothing. Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers and can find their way into your home in that amazing dress you bought at the thrift shop or the great accent chair you found on Craisglist.
Finally, steer clear of places known to have problems with infestation. Jan and Mike might be an adorable couple, and they may throw <em>the best cocktail parties ever</em>, but if their building was just on the news as part of a feature on bed bug outbreaks you need to respectfully decline that invitation, pronto.
<strong>Bed Bug Extermination</strong>
Call a professional – <em>immediately</em>.
Bed bugs are insidious vermin and hard to eradicate. DIY methods include wrapping your furniture in plastic (suffocation) and washing your linens in hot water (death by heat) – and you should feel free to employ these methods as a stopgap – but to get 100% clear of a bed bug infestation you’re going to need expert help.
We hope you never get bed bugs, but if you do then we hope these tips help.