When the bedbugs bite . . .
Bedbugs are becoming a real bother in some parts of Alberta. Sandra Hamilton, an environmental health officer with Alberta Health Services, saysthe province hasn’t had a bedbug outbreak this bigsince the 1950s.
Although bedbugs are far from the biggest pests inthe province, they are persistent and can live for a yearwithout food. And they’re very good at hitching a ridefrom place to place.
Should they arrive at your place, they’re likely totake a bite out of you. Even worse, as more and moreAlbertans are finding out, once bedbugs arrive somewhere, they’re difficult to send packing.
Bedbugs get from place to place in clothing, bedding,furniture, handbags and luggage, as well as vehiclesof any description. Typically found in beddingand mattresses, they often inhabit crevices in bedframes, box springs and other furniture.
Big enough to be spotted by the human eye, adultbedbugs are wingless insects and are oval, flat andreddish brown in colour.
These bothersome insects feed mainly at night,
causing small, hard, swollen, white welts on the skin
that may become inflamed and itch severely. Although
bedbugs are not known to transmit any communicable
human diseases, they can cause anxiety, secondary
infections and allergic reactions.
If you find bedbugs in your home, you can greatly
reduce their numbers by thorough cleaning:
• Machine-wash bedding, curtains, rugs, towels and
clothes separately in the hottest water and dry for at
least 30 minutes in a hot dryer.
• Dry clean clothing and fabrics if needed, and alertyour dry cleaner of any infested clothing.
• Store clean items in sealed plastic bags.
• Using the nozzle attachment, vacuum bedbugs andeggs from mattresses, bed frames, furniture and floor;also vacuum floors and carpets.
• Place the used vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bagand throw out immediately after use.
• Repair or seal cracks in walls and loose wallpaper.
If bedbugs persist, you may need to call a qualifiedpest control operator.
Reported by TERRY BuLLiCKFor more information, visit applemag.ca.
Cleaning bedding, curtains, rugs, towels and clothes is one of thefirst steps to ridding your home of bedbugs.