You’ve all heard about them—bed bugs—those sneaky, near-microscopic bugs that hitch a ride into your home uninvited and cause all kinds of mischief.
This past year, bed bugs have taken up residence in homes, hotels, and businesses across the United States. Los Angeles and other west-coast metropolitan areas are no exception.
While New York City remains the nation’s bed bug capital, cities along the west coast such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco are becoming breeding hotspots because of California’s alluring temperate climate, significant population in inner city areas, and dense residential communities. All places beg bugs love to live!
These resilient pests are excellent hitch hikers and easily ‘leap’ from one target to the next at hotels and/or public transit. These pests are often transferred from clothing to furniture, and once inside your home, these unwanted roommates begin venturing out to feed and multiply.
While they do not transmit disease, they leave evidence of their bites—large, itchy swellings on the skin similar to bites from mosquitoes, fleas, or spiders. In addition to welts, bed bugs may also leave bloodstains or droppings on linens where you sleep.
But don’t think you can easily spot bed bugs running rampant in your home. Bed bugs like to hide and because of their small size can do so just about anywhere—in clothing, furniture, electrical outlets, under wallpaper, mattresses, air conditioning vents, and in any crack or crevice.
As bed bugs become more pervasive, it’s almost impossible to know where they’ll show up next. Don’t let your home become their home too. Keep the pests at bay by staying vigilant and checking bedding, clothing, and material furniture.
Early detection is key. If you see signs of a problem, don’t waste time and money by trying to exterminate the bugs on your own. Hire a licensed and qualified pest professional to eradicate these pests. You can prevent infestations by:
- Monitoring daily for pests.
- Fully inspecting your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return home from traveling. Also, wash clothing and bedding at warm temperatures after returning from travel.
- Purchasing mattress and pillow encasements. These bed bug proof enclosures are extremely affordable and provide a tight seal around your box spring, mattress and pillows.
- Keeping children’s backpacks in plastic bags or closed storage bins. At minimum, do not leave backpacks in or near bedrooms.
- College students should inspect dormitory mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots before putting sheets on the bed. Students should also thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If anything suspect is found, immediately contact a university facility manager.
Inspect and Protect Week is just a week away! Be sure to check back each day next week for more tips on keeping your home pest-free.