Bed Bugs certainly have been given lots of press lately. Even as recently as a few short years ago, no one really worried about bed bugs. You read about them in pamplets that told you what to look for if you were visiting a third world country, but other than that I never heard about them.

Bed bugs have been found in all 50 states. Don't think that you are immune to these pests. Many people believe that they can only get them if they stay in "seedy" hotels. This is not true because they have been found in some very nice hotels as well. Just because there is a bed bug infestation does not mean that the hotel is not clean. They can live inside the mattress and come out when they sense the warmth of a human body.

Bed bugs are reddish brown in color and flat-oval shaped. They never grow to more than a quarter inch in size. What makes them annoying is that they live by sucking the blood of their host animal. Their bites leave behind small welts that itch, not unlike that of a mosquito bite. Bed bugs generally do not transmit disease, but their bites can become infected if the victim scatches them too much.

A couple of year ago they showed up in New York City hotels, now they are in Chicago. When they appeared this close to home I wanted to know what bed bugs are?

The problem is that once bed bugs move in, they don't like to move out. Most experts agree that if you have a bed bug infestation you really should call a professional exterminator.

Here are a few tips to assist you in getting rid of your bed bug problem.

  • Vacuum your furniture regularly. Ensure that you empty the bags outside. Bed bugs can crawl out of trash cans. Place the vacuum bags into a plastic bag and then tie the plastic bag shut.
  • Wash all bed covers and clothes. This means that you need to wash everything that you have worn for the past month. Use the "Hot" setting on your washing machine.
  • Wash all throw rugs. Use a carpet shampoo machine on all of your carpets.
  • If you can afford new mattesses, it is a good idea to throw away your mattress. When you get a new mattress, place a sealable mattress cover on it before you bring it into the house. This will prevent any bed bugs from getting into your matress and setting up shop there.
  • If you cannot afford a new mattress, place a sealable mattress cover over your mattress and the bugs will die because they will not be able to get out and feed.

A bed bug infestation goes beyond being annoying. Victims of infestations feel violated because they are attacked in their own beds. A victim with a bad infestation can be bitten hundreds of times in a single night.

The best piece of advice that I read while researching this article is to bite the bullet and just call a professional exterminator to get rid of your problem for you.