We all know this crazy saying about bedbugs – ‘Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite. If they do, hit them with your shoe until they are black and blue.’ Have you heard this one? ‘No good sensible working bee listens to the advice of a bedbug on the subject of business.’ What about this one? ‘You can’t have more bedbugs than a blanket-full.’
Crazy sayings and jokes aside, bedbugs are serious business – especially to the daughter of my church mentor mom. Debbie said her daughter noticed lots of bite marks on the arms of some foster children she was keeping. She took them to the doctor who said they were either flea bites or bedbug bites. The foster children were only at her home for a few days before returning to their family. After they left, she noticed a couple of bedbugs crawling on the bed skirt of the guest room bed. Needless to say, her family moved in with Debbie for 12 days while a pest control company got rid of them at a cost of around $2,000.
Bedbugs are small, flat, oval insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They can be brought into your home by houseguests or by clothing or luggage brought back after traveling. While nothing is 100% foolproof, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to hopefully lessen the risk of being attacked by these pesky creatures or worse of all, have them catch a ride home with you.
• When traveling, place your luggage on the bathroom counter – they are not likely to be in the bathroom especially if it is made of hard non-porous materials.
• Then carefully inspect the entire room – drawers and closets, bed including the headboard, linens, and remaining furniture.
• If you find them, inform the hotel and then ask for a new room – one not neighboring the infected room. Once in the new room, start inspecting again.
• When you get home, consider leaving your luggage outside (if that’s possible) while you unpack.
• Inspect items as you bring them in and thoroughly inspect your suitcase before bringing it in as well.
• Wash and dry clothing on the hottest setting possible.
• Vacuum out your luggage before bringing it in and putting it away.
Let us know if you have any helpful tips to share so that we can all sleep tight without the bedbugs biting.