Everyone has heard the saying, “Sleep tight—don’t let the bed bugs bite.” This poetic wisdom is often regarded as silly due to the assumption that the insect in question sounds to be made up. However, the fact is that bed bugs are quite real and very common in many households throughout the world. If you have been waking up with small, itchy spots in the morning, your problem may not be mosquitoes after all.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Difficult to detect because of their size and reclusive nature, bed bugs are small, brown insects with bodies that resemble flattened apple seeds. They feed on the blood of a host, after which time they become engorged and reddish in color. Bed bugs can move quickly but are not capable of flying and they do not spread disease, making them a lesser concern versus mosquitoes.
Where Do They Come From?
Subsisting on blood exclusively, bed bugs do not thrive in or come from dirt or dirty environments. They can enter your home just as any other insect might, or more likely through clothing or upholstery that has previously come into contact elsewhere before being moved to a new location. They may spread to adjacent apartments in tenant buildings as well.
How to Get Rid of Them
Start by washing and drying your bed linens on high temperatures and scrubbing the seams of your mattresses with a sturdy brush to kill bugs and their eggs. Vacuum the bedroom area frequently and immediately remove the cleaner’s bag to be disposed of outside when finished. It may be necessary to encase a mattress or box spring in a zipping cover to lock bugs in (or out) for long enough that the population dies off permanently.
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