Bed Bug Epidemic
The last time Dr. Ian was here to talk about bed bugs, he showed you how to protect your family from them in your home. Now he is back to give you tips for staying away from these critters, which have been showing up in cities and suburbs across the country. "It's a real problem and what people have to understand is it's a solvable problem," says Dr. Ian, "but everyone has to be aware of it and don’t ignore it. You have to be really vigilant."
Infestations can cost thousands of dollars to eradicate, he adds, because it really must be handled by a professional. "That's why we are talking prevention!" Get Dr. Ian's tips below:
• When you're picking your seats, check the seams and any worn areas of the fabric where bugs could hide. If you see any, move several rows back. After the movie when you get outside, ceck your clothes, jacket and sweater for any bugs.
Hotel Rooms and Dressing Rooms
• When you go into the dressing room, hang clothes on the hook and inspect them for bugs. Also check the furniture in the room and the curtain to be sure there are no bed bugs.
• When you arrive, lift the sheets off the bed and check the mattress crevices for dark spots or blood spots where a bed bug may have been crushed leaving a brown mark. Since they feed on blood always look for dark brown spots in your sheets.
• Check pillow cases, curtains and crevices in the chairs in the room before getting comfortable. If you suspect any bugs, ask that your room be changed far away from that one in the hotel.
• Place your luggage in a plastic trash bag while staying overnight so if there are bugs, they won't come home with you.
• When you return from a trip, take out each article of clothing from your suitcase and shake them out over a white towel. Then immediately throw into the washing machine and wash and dry your clothes along with the towel on the highest temperature setting.
• Take a vacuum hose and vacuum the inside and outside of your suitcase.
• Since bed bugs can live up to 15 days without eating, chances are if they got into your package, they’re still alive. If you have the space, inspect the package outside or in the hallway before bringing it into your home. Open the package very carefully and look into the box and make sure nothing is crawling around the contents and crevices of the box.
• Don’t stack boxes in the house or the office, and keep them away from cluttered areas, because if there are bed bugs in the box they will find a good home - bed bugs love to be in cluttered areas where you can’t see them and they have a lot of places to hide.
• Open your package and inspect the items inside. Dispose of the box immediately outside of your home.
• Bed bugs can show up in any kind of store, so after a nice day of shopping take the time to check your purchases for bugs before you bring them into your house. Take them out and shake the clothes on a light colored towel, if they are bug-free toss them in the washing machine and wash and dry on a high temperature.
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