Protect Your Bedroom From Bed Bugs

    Let’s be frank. There are some subjects that you’ve always known are not discussed in polite society. One is head lice. Another, suddenly, is bed bugs. Sometimes it was your mother, sometimes your teacher, who taught you polite conversation, like “Horses sweat, men perspire, but ladies merely glow.” And then, horror of horrors, one of your kids came home from school with a note from the nurse, telling you your child had head lice. Your child – from your clean, comfortable, even affluent, home. Not a poor, unsanitary, dilapidated cellar. You are shocked beyond belief. And ashamed. But it can happen in any family with no regard to income, status, race or cleanliness. 

    The same is now also true of bed bugs. They do not discriminate – anyone can get them because they are attracted to heat, so if you are alive and breathing, you are at risk. Their scientific name is CIMEX LECTULARIUS and they can be found in most parts of the world. They are small, but big enough to be seen. They feed on your blood at night and move quickly, hiding in cracks or crevices in and around the bed. These small, wingless insects feed solely upon the blood of warm-blooded animals and humans. Hatchlings (nymphs) are about the size of a poppy seed, and grow to ¼ of an inch. They are oval, but flattened from top to bottom. In color, they can range from white (just after molting) to light tan, deep brown or even orange. They can’t fly, but if disturbed they look for shelter in dark cracks and crevices.Preventing infestation is a serious challenge. 

    Make a sweep of your home – furniture, luggage, bedding, clothes, hampers. Examine the tufts, seams and folds of your mattresses. As well as examining beds and mattresses for the bed bugs and their eggs (they can lay 5 eggs a day!) look in the pleats or curtains, beneath loose wallpaper, even in the spaces of wicker furniture. Insecticides are usually not a viable or safe option, because they should not be applied to an area where you sleep. Bed bugs, nocturnal critters that they are, strike while you are asleep. The skin lesion produced by their bite is similar to that of mosquitoes and fleas, but generally a bit bigger, redder and (oh goodie) itchier. 

    The good news (we get it where we can, folks) is that they are not known to transmit any diseases – so far, anyway. We'll keep a good thought on that front. Research continues. The best news is that you are not alone or powerless in the fight against bed bug infestation. Bedbug.com is the "go to" site on this topic, and will give you all the information and, most importantly, the tools you need on how to protect your family. They offer top quality pillow and mattress covers, all entomologist tested, that will help you put an end to the bed bug nightmare. And if you’re traveling (be careful - hotels and motels are often infested), you can buy special luggage liners and travel pillow and mattress protections, even a laundry bag.