Beware of bed bugs

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Beware of bed bugs

by Nicole McGregor

Dr. Victoria Mogilner went to New York City earlier this year. She stayed with her friend in New Jersey. Shortly after, she realized she had what she thought was a scratch on her arm. It wasn't that simple, in fact, it was a bed bug bite. Pretty soon, that one "scratch" became a lot more, " I looked like I had the plague," says Mogilner, her whole upper body was covered with red bites. And they itched.

Lisa Miller, owner of the environmentally friendly Ladybug Pest Control, is familiar with bed bug bites. She didn't used to be. Several years ago she never got a call about them. Today she deals with at least a few big, bad cases every month. What are bed bugs? They looks like ticks, but are smaller. About half the size of an eraser head. And they feed on human blood. They come out when people are sleeping, typically live in the crack and crevices of beds and bite people. They bite, then bite and bite again. They'll feed all night so often times people will wake up the next morning and have a rash looking thing. And bed bugs have struck.

The only way to protect oneself from bed bug bites, is not to have them. So, first Miller recommends people do everything they can to avoid them. She says inspect beds when in a hotel. Look under the mattress, in the cracks and crevices, peer behind frames on the walls, generally inspect. Then place luggage on a rack. Don't put clothes in drawers. And to go really extreme, turn up the heat on high when gone. Heat kills bed bugs. Then when home after a trip take all clothing and put immediately in a plastic bag (if it's summer) and leave outside. That heat will kill any possibilities of bringing buggars in the house. Or put everything immediately in the wash.

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