Bed bugs are making a big-time comeback and can show up just about anywhere. They can be a challenge to prevent because of their small size, night habits, and ability to hitchhike. Here are some tips to get you started:
– Be on the lookout for signs of infestations such as: waking up with bites; seeing live bugs; or dark red or black spots on bedding, carpets, walls and furniture. Finding bed bugs early is the key to preventing their spread.
– Paint and caulk around sleeping areas – such as along baseboards, windows and bed frames – to seal hiding spots.
– Inspect used furniture closely before bringing in to your home. Look for signs of infestations in cushions, zippers, seams, and underneath including springs and frames. Use a magnifying glass if possible. Beware of items in alleys and dumpsters.
– Take a look around mattresses and furniture when staying in an unfamiliar place. Bed bugs can hitch a ride home on your clothing or luggage.
– If you are renting and suspect an infestation, notify your landlord immediately.
– Work with your landlord to get problems corrected quickly and prevent the spread of bed bugs.
– Do not attempt to eradicate an infestation yourself with over-the-counter pesticides. Misuse of pesticides and foggers, besides potentially being hazardous to your health, will not only be ineffective but could even make the problem worse.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Use these tips below to help prevent the spread of these small bugs that create big problems.
1) Check your home for bed bugs to make sure you don’t already have them. They can be hard to spot, but the best place to check is in the corners of your mattress and in your pillow cases. Little spots of shedding skin and fecal matter can be seen if you have bed bugs. Bed bugs hide during the day, and come out to eat at night. They feed on blood, so look for small red marks on your arms, legs and ankles.
2) The brass bed was invented as a means to prevent the spread of bed bugs. Bed bugs are excellent climbers, but need something to grab on to, and brass bed frames make it impossible from them to climb up and reach you.
3) DO NOT TRY TO GET RID OF BED BUGS YOURSEFLF. If you find your have bed bugs, call an exterminator or let your building manager know immediately. Treating them yourself will likely not work completely, and you could danger yourself and neighbors as well.
4) Make sure to check on any elderly relative or neighbors you have. Seniors often do not see bed bugs and can also have a hard time feeling the sting or their bites. Make sure to keep an look out for seniors you know and check for signs of bed bugs in their home.
5) Bed bugs are a serious issue throughout Chicago, so please make sure the city is aware of any case of bed bugs in your home or building. You can contact our office to report bed bug sightings by calling (773) 784-5277.
If you need additional resources, please take a look at the City of Chicago webpage.
Our office has received an “uptick” of tick reports in the community. Please be mindful of these bugs as they can potentially lead to cases of Lyme Disease and other dangerous illnesses. Follow these tips below to help prevent you and your loved ones from these arachnids (they are not insects and are most closely related to spiders).
1. Checking for the bugs:
2. What to do if you find a tick:
3. Reporting tick sightings:
Thanks to Safer Pest Control Project, a City of Chicago delegate agency.
For more information, please visit www.spcpweb.org.