Bed Bugs 101

Like internal parasites or head lice, "you've got bedbugs" is a diagnosis no one ever wants to hear. Unfortunately, while bedbugs have all but disappeared in the last several decades, residing only in nursery rhymes, they're back with a vengeance. Scientists are not completely sure why they are on the rise again, but they believe they may have become immune to the pesticides used to treat them previously. Here are three ways you can avoid getting bedbugs at your house and what to do if they find their way in.

Be Selective at Thrift Stores and Rummage Sales

Everyone loves a good bargain, but some will give you more than you bargained for. Upholstered furniture, used mattresses and box springs, and anything else that cannot be thoroughly washed should be skipped, no matter how good the deal. Wooden furniture, machine-washable and dryable clothing and bedding, and glassware are good second-hand options, though.

Avoid Community Living

If you have the option between living in an apartment and living in a single-family home, choose the house. This way, you needn't worry about the units next door and across the hall giving you bedbugs.

If this isn't possible, no worries, you can still take steps to avoid getting the neighbor's infestation. Install door sweeps on your entry doors, and then use silicone caulking to fill any cracks around electrical switches, outlets, and the baseboard molding.

Seal your mattress and your box spring in zippered, waterproof mattress protectors. You can also buy mattress protectors that are pre-treated with bedbug deterrents. When you wash your bedding and other linens, be sure to use hot water and dry on the hottest temperature the fabric will allow.

Practice Care When Traveling

With the constant traffic, it shouldn't be surprising that hotels and motels are experiencing a bedbug resurgence as well. Don't place your luggage on the floor, and when you get home, carefully wash everything immediately.

What If You Still Get Bedbugs?

Despite your best efforts to avoid getting bedbugs, it may still happen. Don't waste your time and money trying any of the countless home remedies and suggestions on the internet. Bedbugs are a formidable opponent, and they will require a skilled exterminator, such as Arab Termite and Pest Control, who uses a proven bedbug treatment method.

The exterminator will inspect your home, determine the extent of the infestation, and then decide which course of action they feel will best solve your bedbug problem. Multiple treatments will be required as they quickly multiply.