Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite!
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Bed bugs are spread easily by “hitchhiking” on all types of household items, such as clothing, bedding, furniture, luggage, back packs, and animal cages. Although bed bugs prefer to infest wood and fabric to metal and plastic surfaces, they have been found infesting electronic devices, such as alarm clocks, and hollow perches in bird cages.
What do Bed Bugs Feed On?
The common bed bug prefers to feed on humans, but can feed on a wide range of warm-blooded animals, including cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, and rodents. Bed bugs do not stay on the host. They move from hiding places in bedding, furniture, cages, and other nearby cracks and crevices to feed briefly on people and pets at night. Adults can live more than a year without a blood meal.
What are signs of infestation by bed bugs?
- Red, welt-like bites that itch and occur while sleeping (bed bugs feed at night).
- Live bed bugs, eggs, molted skins of bed bugs, and dark brown or rusty spots (excrement) are indications of infestations.
- Bed bugs hide and lay eggs in mattress seams, box springs, bedding, head boards, picture frames, sofas, furniture, carpeting, drapes, and any crack and crevice the width of a business card. (This article is a snippet of content from Vikane® Packing Checklist PDF.)
Feed Bedbugs? There's an App for That!
Bedbugs are as likely to settle in luxury hotels as youth hostels. So, travelers may wonder, is there a way to figure out whether a hotel (or theater or restaurant) is infested? Well, now there’s an app for that. The new Bed Bug Alert ($1.99 at iTunes.apple.com) app for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch shows users a GPS-enabled Google map that indicates nearby bedbug-infested sites as red push pins. The locations are based on addresses of bedbug outbreaks reported by the media, by governmental agencies and by users across the country. Once the map is loaded, bedbug-fearing travelers can zoom in on a pin for more information. If it is a public place, such as a hotel or theater, the name will appear. (If it is a private place like a home, the name will not.) In addition to the map, the app includes a tab that links to bedbug maps of the Top 10 infested cities. (New York, Philadelphia and Detroit are currently first, second and third, respectively.) And users unfortunate enough to encounter one of the insects can immediately report it via the app as well.
ONLINE EDUCATION MATERIALS ON BED BUGS
Bed Bugs Fact Sheet (PDF)