Bedbug Prevention


Basics

Bedbug prevention may be difficult, but it's easier than bedbug treatment. Bedbug treatment is a very involved, time-consuming process, which we'll talk about later in this section.

What are bedbugs? Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals including humans and pets. Their eggs are very small, about the size of a poppy seed. Their larvae are the size of a grain of rice. Adult bedbugs are about a quarter of an inch long, reddish-brown in color, and fairly flat. They live in dark crevices, such as those in mattresses and bed frames. They can also live in other furniture, openings in the floor, or in carpeting.



Many people don't know they have bedbugs. The only way to know for sure is to look for them. Use a flashlight and look in the crevices of your mattress and bed frame. You can check other furniture as well, especially couches and chairs, and the area around your bed. If you find bugs, you'll need to begin a bedbug treatment regime.

Prevention

The following bedbug prevention tips will help you reduce your risk of bedbugs:

Treatment

If bedbug prevention fails and you do wind up with bedbugs, you'll need to treat the infected areas of your home. To begin with, you'll need to identify all infected areas. Use a flashlight and search carefully. If you fail to treat any areas, they will just spread again.

To treat bedbugs, wash all bedding and vacuum as described in the bedbug prevention section. This will eliminate most, but not all, of the bugs.

You will need to apply some sort of pesticide or treatment to the infected area to kill the remaining bugs and prevent a recurrence of the infestation. You can do this yourself or you can hire an exterminator.

If you hire an exterminator, ask what type of chemicals will be used. Many chemicals can be harmful to humans and pets, and you particularly don't want harmful chemicals on or around your bed. Avoid pesticides and treatments containing permethrins and pyrethrins, common ingredients that can cause severe skin irritation. They are believed by some to cause cancer with prolonged exposure.

If you apply a pesticide or other chemical treatment yourself, be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves and pants, and a face mask. You don't want the chemicals to come in contact with your skin, and you don't want to breath them in.

Many people prefer to use a natural product in order to avoid the risks associated with chemical pesticides. Natural products are safer for both people and pets, and many are quite effective.

Recommended Products

When To See Your Doctor

Bedbug bites do not normally require medical attention. They will go away in a few days. If you have bites that do not go away or that look infected, see your doctor for bedbug treatment.

Please write to us if you have further questions about bedbug prevention.



More than bedbug prevention on our how to get rid of bed bugs page

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