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6/7/2011 - Bed Bug Facts And Misconceptions

Bed Bug Facts And Misconceptions

Cumberland County, as well as other areas throughout the United States, has seen an increase in bed bugs over the past couple of years. The Cumberland County Health Department would like to take the time to educate our community and put to rest any misconceptions people may have about bed bugs.

Bed BugBed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. The adult bugs are oval in shape, wingless and a rusty red color with flat bodies, antennae and small eyes. Bed bugs do in fact bite and can make large itchy welts on the skin. They usually bite at night while you are sleeping. Bed bugs do not spread diseases. Their bites are no more serious than any other insect bite. Having dots of blood in a line on bed sheets or around the bed area, seeing two or three bug bites in a row on the skin, and seeing dark fecal spots around the bed area are signs of having bed bugs.

Bed bugs can be found in areas like window and door casings, loosened wallpaper, cracks in the floor, and any cluttered areas, like piles of boxes and papers near your sleep area. They travel in luggage, clothing, or any kind of furniture that is brought into the home from an infested area. The outbreak of bed bugs is due to the reselling of used furniture. It is highly recommended that you make sure all used furniture has been cleaned carefully before you buy them.

The best way to prevent or treat your home for bed bugs is to wash all bedding, clothes, curtains, and any fabrics with hot water. Also, keep all areas around the infected area clean and repair any cracks in the flooring or walls to eliminate hiding places. If the problem still exists, call a professional pest controller. This will ensure that if there is a problem, it gets taken care of in a safe and effective manner.

If you should have any questions or concerns about bed bugs, please call the Cumberland County Health Department at (856) 327-7602 or visit www.cshealth.org.