May 13th, 2009
Bedbugs have become a problem in areas throughout the United States and Ohio, said Susan Jones, entomologist with Ohio State University Extension.
The bedbug problem appears to be growing. There doesn’t seem to be a single reason as to why bedbugs are making such a surge, Jones said. However, bedbugs have always been a problem in some regions of the world, and society is becoming increasingly mobile.
Bedbugs aren’t known to spread disease, but their bites, though painless when they occur, can cause severe itching as well as anxiety, sleeplessness and sometimes allergic reactions. Scratching the bites can also cause infection.
Jones offers this guidance:
When traveling, check the room for signs of bedbugs before carrying your luggage inside. Look for the bugs themselves – adults are dark and about the size of an apple seed; nymphs are nearly colorless and much smaller; eggs are white and about1/32 of an inch long. Eggs are glued in place to surfaces. The most obvious signs are spotting and dark stains from the pests’ liquid fecal matter. Check for the bugs and stains on mattresses, box springs, the headboard and elsewhere on the bed frame, bed skirts, furniture, drawers, baseboards and walls, especially in corners and crevices such as the tufts, seams and folds of mattresses.
If you find signs of bedbugs in a hotel or motel room, insist on getting another room that doesn’t share a common wall, floor or ceiling with the infested room, preferably in a different wing.
When returning home after traveling, inspect purses, bags, luggage and other materials for signs for bedbugs. Take luggage and other items immediately to the laundry room instead of the bedroom, just in case you’ve missed anything. Washing clothing in hot water (at least 120 degrees) and drying in a hot dryer for at least 15 minutes kills bugs, nymphs and eggs.
If you suspect an infestation in your home, contact a pest control company with experience in dealing with bedbugs immediately.
Boric acid also is ineffective.