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"Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!"

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"Night-night, Sleep tight

Don't let the bedbugs bite!"


This little saying right before I went to bed used to terrify me as a child.  I had NO idea what a bedbug was.  All I could picture in my tiny little mind were huge dog-sized roaches crawling under my blankets and munching on my toes.  I used to sleep curled up in a ball so nothing could get me.  :grin:


Unfortunately, bedbug infestations are on the rise in epic numbers this year.  New York City has discovered bedbugs in some major corporate office buildings, in high-end co-ops and apartments, and in movie theaters.  :o


The scary thing about bedbugs is that they can crawl through any little tiny crack and can move between apartments and hotel rooms with ease.  The little suckers get into EVERYTHING and hitch rides and then migrate to new dwellings.  They can live for months without food, just laying in wait for a warm body to come near to satisfy their thirsty appetite.


Bedbugs were almost unheard of in the United States because of the widespread use of DDT.  But once DDT was banned, they began to show up again.  Third World countries have always had problems with bedbugs and most people just learned to live with them.  When US citizens travelled overseas, the bedbugs would crawl into the traveller's suitcase and hide among the folds in clothing and in the lining of the suitcase, and hitch a free ride to the US.  





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It is almost impossible to eradicate an infestation in your home without contacting a pest control company.  The little buggers hide in the strangest of places.  :nono:  Here is a list of some of the places they can hide in:



Cracks and crevices in the headboard or footboard of a bed

Carpets and rugs


Stuffed animals


Inside pillowcases

Inside any "clutter" around a room


Movie theater seat cushions

Seat cushions in office buildings

Any type of furniture


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The bedbugs come out at night, bite their victim, and sip a little blood.  This wouldn't be so bad if the bug's saliva didn't get into the wound and cause itching and welts, especially in people with sensitive skin.  


Here are some pictures of some bad bites...









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How can you tell if you have a bedbug infestation in your home?  Just check your mattress seams and boxspring or around your closet floor and see if they look like this:












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How do you get rid of them???


It's very difficult to get rid of these tiny pests.  You will have to contact a pest control company to fumigate your home.  Before they do, you will need to do some very deep cleaning.


Harvard University recommends the following steps:


"Thoroughly clean the infested rooms as well as others in the residence. Scrub infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs, and use a powerful vacuum to remove bed bugs from cracks and crevices. Dismantling bed frames will expose additional bug hiding sites. Remove drawers from desks and dressers and turn furniture over, if possible, to inspect and clean all hiding spots.


Mattresses and box springs can be permanently encased within special mattress bags. Once they are installed, inspect the bags to ensure they are undamaged; if any holes or tears are found, seal these completely with permanent tape. Any bugs trapped within these sealed bags will eventually die.


To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto a bed, pull the bed frame away from the wall, tuck sheets and blankets so they won’t contact the floor, and place the frame legs into dishes or cups of mineral oil.


Caulk and seal all holes where pipes and wires penetrate walls and floor, and fill cracks around baseboards and cove moldings to further reduce harborages.


If you own your residence, we suggest you contact a licensed pest control operator who is knowledgeable and experienced in managing bed bug infestations. Ask the pest control company for references, and ask at least a few of their customers about their experiences before you agree to any contract.


If you are a tenant, contact your property manager or landlord to discuss your respective obligations, and to agree on a plan to manage the infestation. Generally, landlords are legally required to contract with a licensed pest control operator.


Request a written integrated pest management (IPM) plan from the pest control operator. This plan should detail the methods and insecticides to be used by the pest control operator, and describe the efforts expected by the building manager as well as by the tenants.


Because bed bugs and other pests may spread through cracks and holes in the walls, ceilings and floors, it is wise to inspect adjoining apartments on the same floor as well as those directly above and below."


In addition to this, you are going to have to dry clean all your drapes and rugs and dry clean only clothes, and you'll have to wash everything you own, including seasonal clothes you've boxed or bagged in the closet. 

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Lucky for me, I haven't come across any bedbugs yet, but I have a bad feeling it's only a matter of time.   Especially if they are being found in offices and movie theaters and hotels.   scared011.gif



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My dad had problems with bed bugs in New Guinea during WW2. He used empty cans full of water under the legs of his bed making a moat so the bed bugs couldnt cross it in the night.

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