Bronson Urges Steps To Keep Bed Bugs Out Of Homes

April 28, 2010

TALLAHASSEE – Bed bugs are back.  The small, reddish brown insects are popping up in places all over the country.   While often presumed to indicate poor sanitation or bad housekeeping practices, bed bugs can show up anywhere, from the best kept house to a five-star hotel.  Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson says people can take steps to ensure they don’t bring the pests into their houses.

“Bed bugs infest places where people sleep and live, and all they need is to get in the door to get established” Bronson said.  “We want people to be aware that they are out there and be careful while traveling so that they don’t bring them back home”.

Once established, bed bugs can be hard to control, and can cause a lot of emotional distress to their victims.  Bed bugs are not known to carry or spread disease, but the fact that their only food is blood means they need to be avoided and controlled when present.

“They attack people when they are the most vulnerable and where people usually feel the safest, while at home trying to enjoy a restful night’s sleep” Commissioner Bronson said, “They make people feel uncomfortable, and the fact that they can be difficult to control makes it worse.”

To avoid bringing bed bugs home, the Department recommends the following –

  • Do a quick check for bed bugs when you are traveling and staying in hotels or other guest accommodations.
  • Adult bed bugs are between the size of a matchhead and a pencil eraser.  Nymphal (immature) stages are smaller (about the size of a pencil tip).  Live bed bugs can move quickly, making them difficult to detect.
  • Check hotel or guest beds for signs of bed bugs by removing the mattress cover before using.  Typical signs are dark spots on the edges or sides of mattresses, or the bed bugs themselves hiding there.
  • Look for them around furniture near the bed, headboards, and nearby couches and chairs.  Bed bugs may also be found harboring in dresser drawers.
  • Don’t put luggage on or near the bed.  Put luggage in the closet or bathroom to avoid bed bugs climbing into luggage and coming home.
  • Report any findings of bed bugs to the hotel operator or guest house manager.
  • When returning home from a trip, do not take luggage directly into the bedroom, immediately remove clothes from luggage and place in washer or dryer.

If you sustain any bed bug bites, don’t panic.  Bed bugs don’t transmit disease and allergic reactions are relatively rare.  Check your luggage to make sure you don’t bring any home and report to the property manager.  Laundering your clothes when you get home with hot soapy water kills bed bugs and drying on high temperature for 15-20 minutes kills bed bugs.

If you find bed bugs in your home, call a licensed pest control company to inspect and provide a written estimate of control costs.  Depending on the extent of the infestation, bed bug control can be labor intensive, so get a good idea of how the company will do the job and how much it will cost before agreeing.  Get estimates from more than one company.  You can cooperate with pest control by removing all sheets, blankets, mattress covers, pillowcases, etc. from beds and wash and dry them.  Wash and dry washable clothing, towels, and other linens. If clothes or fabrics require dry-cleaning, inform the cleaner about the bed bug risk.  Provide access for the pest control technician and, if possible, move furniture away from wall so there is a three foot space between the furniture and the walls.

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4 Responses to “Bronson Urges Steps To Keep Bed Bugs Out Of Homes”

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