On behalf of Law Office of Paul Mankin on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.
Bedbugs. What a revolting thought. Do you have them in your California home or apartment? Before you answer with an emphatic “no,” be aware that you could have a bedbug infestation without even knowing it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that bedbugs are on the rise in America.
These tiny pests range in size from nearly microscopic to less than a quarter inch in length. Assuming you can see them at all, their color is reddish-brown, they have no wings, and they are very good at hiding, particularly in and around the places you sleep such as in your mattress or bedding seams, your box springs, your bed frame, your headboard's and night stand's cracks and crevices, behind your wallpaper or in any other object or clutter around your bed.
Bedbugs live on human blood, but they can survive for months without satisfying their Dracula-type appetites. Your risk of receiving a bedbug bite – or dozens of them – is highest if you live or spend time in one of the following:
- An apartment
- A rooming house
- A shelter
- A hotel, motel or resort
- A dorm room
- A cruise ship
Bedbugs and disease
While bedbugs do not carry or spread diseases, many people are allergic to their bites. Not only can you have a serious allergic reaction to a bedbug bite, if you constantly scratch the itch one produces, you could wind up with an open infected wound.
Bedbug infestation signs
The biggest tipoff that you have a bedbug infestation is if you wake up in the morning with one or more tiny red bite marks on your body, especially on your face, neck, hands or arms. Be aware, however, that these bite marks often do not appear until as long as two weeks after you received your bite(s). Other tell-tale bedbug signs include the following:
- Tiny critters in the folds of your sheets, pillow cases, comforter or bedspread
- Tiny exoskeletons in seams or cracks when the bedbugs molt
- Tiny blood spots on your bedding or mattress that come from bedbug excretions
- A musty sweetish smell around your bed
Given that you and your family can bring bedbugs into your home in the folds and seams of your clothing, hats, purses, bags, attache cases, etc., especially if you ride a bus or commuter train to and from work, normal cleaning and vacuuming will not get rid of them. You or your landlord must call in a professional exterminator to spray the area with an insecticide.