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Bed Bug Control For Your Home

Jan 24, 2008
No longer thought of as just part of an affectionate good-night saying to your children, bed bugs have become something of a real-life nightmare for everyone. In recent news in New York City, a wide-scale epidemic of bedbugs has broken out throughout the city and even posh areas such as the upper East Side have had major bed bug problems.

Experts believe that the cause for the rise in bed bugs are due to an increase in global travel and mobility, the banning of DDT along with reduced use of urban pesticides. Until recently, bedbugs were thought to have been put to rest since World War II.

While most bed bug situations that have arisen in Texas have not been as large-scale as New York City, there is still a huge and looming concern that bed bug incidents could multiply. Known commonly in Texas as "chinches," these bugs usually inhabit bedding and can also make their homes in luggage, furniture, clothing, and clutter on the floor.

The adult bed bug has a dark brown, wingless body with a crinkle shape on its "shell." However, once the bed bug has fed on human blood, its body becomes elongated and swollen, and changes from brown to a dull red. Its size depends on the amount of blood that the bed bug consumes. An unfed bed bug is between one-fourth and three-eighths of an inch long.

Treating Bed bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs can be tricky. New York Daily News provides the following Dos and Don'ts for dealing with bed bugs:

DOs

- Store all your accessible food in rodent-proof containers such as glass or metal
- Identify a reputable pest control company. It should be licensed, insured and state-certified.
- Bag up all clothing in plastic garbage bags, which must be sealed airtight.
- Dry-clean garments. Chemicals in dry-cleaning can kill bedbugs; washers and dryers will kill them only at temperatures above 140 degrees Farenheit.
- Bag books, papers, pictures, most loose objects and contents of closets to exterminators have access to all cracks and crevices in the home.
- Expect exterminators to apply restricted-use, federally approved pesticides and return for follow-up treatment

DON'Ts

- Don't panic: bed bugs don't carry or transmit diseases.
- Don't spray your home or apartment: It can spread or scatter the pests.
- Don't throw out mattresses or furniture unwrapped: They can fall off and infest other parts of the building.
- Don't put kerosene, gasoline, or chemicals on mattresses: It's a fire hazard and is ineffective.
- Don't reuse bags after vacuuming affected areas.
- Don't permit asthmatics, pregnant women, seniors or small children to stay in apartments or homes that are being sprayed with pesticides.

However, the best thing to do if you suspect a bed bug problem in your home is to get in touch with a pest control expert who has experience in handling and treating bed bug infestations. Pest control operators will be able to diagnose the problem and take the appropriate measures to treat your bed bug infestation.
About the Author
Fran Phalin is a homeowner and freelance editor/writer on things that work and is based in Austin, Texas. Fran has worked successfully with the guys at ABC to get her bed bug problems resolved. ABC Pest & Lawn offers a comprehensive solution for getting rid of bugs in your life and home. Visit them at: http://www.abcpest.com/select_pest.shtml
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