What has 6 legs, can hide right under our nose, and drink up to SEVEN times its own weight in blood? Bed bugs. Yup, those skin-scrawling, tiny, bloodsucking parasites. Bed bugs you say?! I don’t have a bed bug problem! Well, sit back, pull up those bed covers, and listen to this…bed bugs are on the rise!
According to the University of Kentucky and the National Pest Management Association, 95% of US pest control companies had treated a bed bug infestation in the previous year – that’s up from 25% a decade before, and only 11% the decade before that! In September 2012, New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a resource for people suffering from the pests, had to fumigate one of its own floors – now that’s ironic! Even our hometown of Asheville, NC is plagued by a bed bug infestation in one Asheville Housing Authority Apartment complex. Scary stuff!
In order to avoid these blood-sucking insects, we recommend you’re on the lookout when you’re traveling (and we know ENOpians love to travel!):-
- Look for tiny spots, usually rust-colored, on the mattress tags or seams, the bed skirt, and most importantly the bed sheets.
- Bed bugs like to hide, but you can catch them if you know where to look! Have a peek underneath the mattress, the bed frame, the headboard and in any bedroom furniture typically within a 5-foot radius of the bed.
- Keep your luggage on a rack away from the bed and the wall – you don’t want it to become a bed bug hidey-hole!
- Examine your luggage carefully while you repack and look for same rust-covered spots or any rogue bugs.
- Put all your travel clothing straight in to the dryer on the highest setting for at least 15 minutes when you get home – that will kill even the sneakiest of bed bugs!
- Our personal favorite – sleep in your hammock! Make sure you take it down immediately after you wake up and store it in a safe place away from the bedroom, after a careful examination of course 🙂