New York City was a hotbed for bedbugs last year. Find out how to keep them out of your home and away from your family.
Terminix, which ranked the top cities and states where it performed bedbug extermination services, showed that bedbugs were most problematic in New York City in 2010. That should come as no surprise to residents, who read stories about infestations at lingerie store Victoria's Secret and in the Empire State Building, among other public locales.
So, how can parents make sure that their children, especially those who have caregivers or playmates who have had bedbugs, remain bedbug free this year?
"That's the $10 million question," says Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, who practices in Riverdale, NY. He's quick to point out that the bugs don't transmit known disease.
Parents who are worried about bedbugs should inspect furniture and other household items for signs of bedbugs. Although live bedbugs are hard to spot, they often leave behind shed skin and eggs. Dead bedbugs can also be left on furniture or household items. Parents should also be on the lookout for small, red, itchy bites. Once bedbugs are spotted, parents should place all bed linens, clothing, and other washable items in plastic bags to avoid bug transfer while carrying them. They should then wash them in hot water and dry them for 30 minutes. Items that aren't needed immediately should be stored in plastic bags until the bedbugs are gone. Remember, bedbugs, which feed on human blood, can live up to a year without food.
All clutter in the affected room should be discarded. Furniture should be emptied, vacuumed, and steam treated. All parts of the bed should be cleaned with a vacuum. The mattress should also be cleaned and wrapped in an encasement. Insect interceptors should be placed on the feet of the bed frame.
Even parents who have taken all of the above measures should call an exterminator to make sure the bedbugs are gone for good.
Also see: Lice Survival Guide for Parents: How to Get Rid of Them for Good
Lice Removal Services in the New York Metro Area