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30 November 2010

Bedbugs: how to get rid of them

Bedbugs; just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're not there, warns an allergist. Here is what to look out for in second-hand clothing, furniture and on hotel beds.

Think twice before hauling used furniture into your home because it may be infested with bedbugs, warns a Loyola University Health System allergist.

Other patients have brought home bedbugs in clothing bought at neighbourhood sales and second-hand stores.

  • If you purchase secondhand clothing, keep it sealed in a plastic bag until you wash it in hot water. Then put them in the dryer at high heat.
  • If you acquire used furniture, paint or seal it before using it. The bugs are tiny enough to hide in screw holes.
  • If you discover bedbugs in your home, spray insecticide and vacuum bedding and furniture thoroughly and place the vacuum bag outside in the trash. Keep doing this daily and "check for tiny brown bugs or pieces that may be part of the bug," he advised.
  • When you travel, check the mattress. "If you see tiny brown specks, move yourself and your clothing and luggage out immediately," he stated. Inform the hotel manager or your hosts.
  • If you are bitten by bedbugs, wash the area with soap and water and dry thoroughly. Apply anti-itch cream to prevent irritation and limit scratching. See a doctor if a bite becomes warm to the touch, swells or hurts.

 
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