Bed bugs can be difficult to detect and treat because of their small size and ability to survive up to a year without feeding. They are about the size of an apple seed when fully grown, and can hide around seams of a mattress, behind headboards and in cracks and crevices, usually within a five-foot radius of the bed. The first signs of a bed bug infestation are often the bed bugs themselves or small dark stains bed bugs can leave behind.
Tips at home:
- Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check locations where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress seams and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. "I like to inspect every week when I change the sheets to make sure I don't have a visitor," Harrison says.
- Decrease clutter around your home to make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
- Inspect all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
- Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
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