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By: Fred Willey
For the last few generations, bed bugs have been something that only existed in children's songs. Many people believed that these pests had gone the way of polio and other inconveniences. Unfortunately, bed bugs are back and are a real problem in areas all across North America and the world. Those in pest and bed bug control services have put forth an education campaign to help people avoid exposure to this pest. While there is no absolute guaranteed magic formula that will keep you safe from bed bugs, the following tips will help reduce your risk significantly.

Bed bugs can enter your home in several ways, but the most common way is through your suitcase. Hotels have become the ultimate breeding ground for bed bug infestations since the turnover there is so high. If you are staying in a hotel, be sure to leave your suitcases out in the hallway or in the bathroom, and check the mattress and box spring in your room for bedbug infestations. If you find black and red dots (stains on mattress, sheets, pillows), leave the room immediately and either switch floors or, better yet, hotels. Pest control services will need to be called to treat that room and all adjoining rooms, as well.

Once you get home from traveling, it is important that you wash your clothes and suitcase right away. Even if you stayed in a room that was pest-free, you never know what you may have rolled your suitcase through on the way there or on the way back. Try to keep all of your dirty laundry separated and sealed so that any bugs or eggs stay quarantined. Be sure to wash your clothes with hot water or dry them on high heat. It is the heat that kills bed bugs dead. As for your suitcase, green pest control experts recommend that you vacuum it out and perhaps even scrub it down to ensure that you aren't bringing home any extra souvenirs.

One of the most frustrating aspects of dealing with bed bugs is that you can keep the cleanest house on the block and still get them. For decades, bed bug infestations have been synonymous with dirty, unkempt homes. The truth is, if your neighbors don't keep a clean home or if your pet carries them in from outside, you can still have problems. If you live in an older home, make an effort to find any cracks in your walls, cabinets or around windows and seal them. This will not only help with bed bugs, but it can also help with ant pest control.

Finally, you want to have a good idea of what bed bugs look like in case you find one. They tend to be flat, brownish-red and range in size from a few millimeters wide to the size of a dime. Ones that have recently fed are rounder. If you do find one in your home, do not hesitate to call an exterminator. There are green pest control methods that can be used. The longer you wait to treat the problem, the more likely you are to have a serious infestation occur.

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