Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

By: Morgan Fiedler Email
By: Morgan Fiedler Email

It used to be bed bugs were only part of a nursery rhyme. But according to Dr. Thomas Zorka, the Midwest Tech Services Manager for Orkin Pest Control, reports of the bugs are on the rise.

"Over the last five years, bed bug concerns throughout the country have gone up, and the Midwest is no different."

These apple seed sized bugs are flat, making it easy for them to hide.

"They hide in beds, they hide in between the mattress and the box spring, they hide behind headboards, behind nightstands, in wallpaper, we've even seen them on ceilings."

And Zorka says their primary food source is blood.

"Bed bugs feed on blood, your blood, and they feed while you're sleeping. So while you are sleeping, your body throws out a lot of heat, and that's what attracts them to you."

Bed bugs have a painless bite, so most people only notice them when they see blood on their sheets or red bumps on their bodies. And no one is immune to the problem.

"You can have the cleanest house where you live and still have bed bugs."

Experts say it's because bed bugs love to travel.

"When you go to a hotel room for example, and you set your bags down, and you happen to set them down where the bugs are, or near where they are, they climb in and you bring them home with you."

If you have bed bugs, contact a company like Orkin who will come and exterminate.

But even if we don't have bed bugs, every one of us has another kind of bug living in our beds...dust mites. They live off of our dead skin particles, and love making their homes in our pillows and carpets.

A 20 year old pillow has about 100 million mites inside. About one third of it's weight actually consists of dust mites and their droppings.

Dust mites don't bite, but can still be a major nuisance for those with allergies. It's nearly impossible to get rid of them all, but there are things we can do to get reduce their numbers.

"I would go with vacuuming and taking care of sanitation there, washing sheets, maybe having the mattress cleaned, carpets cleaned, vacuuming constantly just to remove them."

So no matter where you lay your head tonight, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite.


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