How to get rid of Bed Bugs


August 7, 2006   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

You wake up in the morning with a little red bump on your arm and another on your cheek. You mentally begin thinking of the cause but you are coming up empty.

Well, maybe it’s bed bugs. Apparently the U.S. is infatuated with these things and it’s a little creepy to think about.

Here are a few ways to identify bed bugs:

    • The bed bug is a tiny bloodsucker that often feasts off of humans, though any warm-blooded animal will do.
    • Don’t be fooled by its name: while they prefer the convenience of hiding in a mattress, bed bugs can thrive in furniture, behind wallpaper and picture frames, and inside very small cracks, among other places. They will travel long distances for a meal, so just washing your linens may not be enough.
    • Small reddish or brownish spots on one’s linens are often the first sign of an infestation. These spots are the bed bug’s droppings. Another sign is swelling where you’ve been bitten.
  • Bed bugs are less than a quarter-inch long, somewhat flat, and oval-shaped like an apple seed.

Does this sound like your problem? If so, head to CBS 2 Chicago for a few remedies they discuss.

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Getting Rid of Bedbugs

Getting rid of bedbugs can be tricky. In proper conditions, adult bedbugs can survive without a meal for a year or longer. However, these annoying pests can be eliminated, usually with the help of a professional exterminator.

Here are some do-it-yourself methods you can try before you call the exterminator:

    • Thoroughly wash, vacuum or clean all surfaces and bedding.
    • Wash or dry-clean bedding and affected clothing. Use hot water and a dryer on the hottest setting whenever possible.
    • Vacuum mattresses, seal them in plastic and leave them outside in the hot sun for as long as possible.
    • Steam clean carpets.
  • Spray cracks and crevices with an insecticide designed to control bedbugs. Follow the label directions carefully. Do not treat bedding with insecticide.

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