Monthly Archive: March 2011

Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Home

Bed bugs are infesting the country in alarming proportions. Since 1995 their population has increased worldwide. This parasitic insect that feeds on human blood causes a number of health issues ranging from skin rashes and allergies to psychological problems. They are extremely difficult to get rid of as they are nocturnal and like to hide. Most bed bugs feed on their hosts while they are sleeping so they can go undetected for quite a while before their presence is noticed. Since they are commonly found in beds, hence their name, having a mattress that resists them, such as a memory foam mattress, can help in the fight to eradicate them from your home.

Bed bugs enter homes through a variety of ways. Hitchhiking on people, pets, luggage and clothing is one way they make their way through the door. They also travel through duct work from infested areas to new habitats. Apartment buildings can be totally infested this way. If you bring items into your home from infested places the bed bugs can travel in on the items and create more havoc in their new environment. They also attach to wild animals and drop off near buildings where they make their way inside through cracks and crevices. One way to ward off their presence is by eliminating areas where they can hide and breed such as in inner-spring mattresses. Bed bugs burrow deep inside the space provided by the springs and the infestation begins. Mattresses that have a solid core like a memory foam mattress or a latex mattress do not provide a breeding area for the bugs to hide in.

Bedding is a place that harbors bed bugs. Conventional mattresses have air spaces inside which make a welcome home for these irritating insects. Once inside it is almost impossible to totally exterminate them. In most cases it is necessary to throw the mattress away. Using a memory foam mattress, a solid latex mattress, an air mattress or a water-bed will help to keep the tiny critters away. Wrapping a conventional mattress in a plastic covering can also keep them out of the bedding. Make sure to wrap the box spring as well.

The best way to keep your home free from bed bugs is to regularly be on the look out for signs of their presence. Watch for the black marks from bed bug excrement which they leave behind. If you smell an almond or ripe raspberry odor they may be in the immediate area. Vacuuming often and cleaning around baseboards, switch plates and other openings in walls may help to keep them out. Wash all linens in the hottest available water to kill off any bugs on them. Of course using a memory foam mattress or other solid core mattress will eliminate a breeding area in your bedroom. If you follow all of these things the bed bugs will hopefully move in with someone other than you.