Bedbug panic is gripping the nation, and with good reason. Driving through New York City this summer, I was shocked at the number of billboards offering solutions to bedbug infestations. Even if you don’t stay in hotels, you can pick up — and bring home — the biting pests from public spaces such as movie theaters, dorms, trains, hospitals, libraries, and restaurants. Beware of old sofas and mattresses left at the curb! My husband travels frequently and stays in several different hotels each year. Is it enough to keep his shoes off the floor and his suitcase in the bathroom? What will we do if a critter finds its way into our home? We all could benefit from taking some precautions to keep the bedbugs at bay. If you’re already under siege, it’s important to know the best ways to rid your home of these annoying pests. Just reading about them makes me itch.
Here are a few helpful links:
- Bedbugger.com is a font of information about bedbugs and what you should (and should not) do in the case of an infestation. The blog injects some wry humor into what can be an extremely frustrating situation. Read their frequently asked questions and forum for help in dealing with the pests.
- The Bed Bug Registry: This website allows you to search hotels by address to see which ones had guests reporting bedbugs. There is no confirmation of the pest sightings; the reports need to be taken on faith. Bed Bug Registry removes some records over two years old if no new sightings have been reported.
- Just how bad are bedbugs, anyway? This New York Times article attempts to find out what they’re all about. We’ve yet to identify any diseases carried by bedbugs, although their bites can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma in some people. They are also known to drive people batty trying to get rid of them.
- The University of Minnesota Extension Service has tips for keeping bedbugs out of your home.
- Joint Statement on Bed Bug Control in the United States from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Finally, some psychology and a word from the bedbugs themselves, from Science Friday:
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Photo credit: kevindooley on flickr