GNcareers, from Gulf News

Stop bed bugs in their tracks

Stop bed bugs in their tracksImage Credit: Supplied

The saying, ''good night, sleep tight; don't let the bed bugs bite'' is common for putting young children to bed. Alas, among of the most alarming pests invading our homes are bed bugs. An adult bed bug is reddish brown in color and can often be mistaken for a small cockroach. Not known to cause any serious infections, they feast on human blood and can leave red marks which may get infected. Nocturnal by nature, they feed before dawn when their prey is asleep.

Bed bugs are not necessarily a sign of poor housekeeping; they can be transferred through luggage, backpacks, pets, laundry clothes, etc. The name is also misleading because they are not only found in beds but also behind furniture, holes in the ceiling, upholstery, carpets, etc.

The first step is inspection. Check your mattress and furniture crevices with a flashlight and magnifying glass. Small black spots on the mattress and bed sheets are actual fecal remains of bed bugs. Tiny white eggs can be spotted if your furniture is infected with bed bugs.

Bed bugs are difficult to exterminate completely as they multiply rapidly. A persistent approach is required. Contact a licensed pest control company for dry steam treatment or spray. Ensure you wash all infected items at high temperature. You can vacuum the furniture regularly to suck out any eggs attached to it. Pour hot boiling water on furniture as extreme temperature kills the bugs and the eggs. You may also sun your beds, pillows, etc.

If you are still unable to get rid of them, you need to dispose of all infected furniture. Do not resell or give away your furniture. Cut holes in them so no one will reuse the items when you dispose of them.

Handy Hints:

• Bed bugs are found in furniture, mattresses, carpets.

• They can be transmitted through luggage, pets, etc.

• If you're unable to get rid of them, call pest control.

Source: Special to Classifieds