Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Bedbug Information from MedlinePlus

Some of the tips below were new to me, as checking secondhand furniture.
On a related note, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describe emerging public health issues associated with bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) in communities throughout the United States.

Bedbugs feed on your blood and cause itchy bites. Adult bed bugs are brown, 1/4 to 3/8 long, and have a flat, oval-shaped body. Young bed bugs (called nymphs) are smaller and lighter in color. Bedbugs hide in a variety of places around the bed. They might also hide in other places, such as in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, and in the folds of curtains. They come out to feed on blood about every five to ten days. But they can survive over a year without feeding.

To prevent bedbugs in your home:

  • Check secondhand furniture for any signs of bedbugs before bringing it home.
  • Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs. Check it regularly for holes.
  • Reduce clutter in your home so they have fewer places to hide.
  • Unpack directly into your washing machine after a trip and check your luggage carefully.
  •  When staying in hotels, put your suitcases on luggage racks instead of the floor. Check the mattress and headboard for signs of bedbugs.

To get rid of bedbugs:

    • Wash and dry bedding and clothing at high temperatures.
    • Use mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements to trap bed bugs and help detect infestations.
    • Use pesticides if needed.

The good news? Unlike some other pests, bedbugs don’t transmit and spread diseases.

[US Environmental Protection Agency]


(October 7th addition)

A New Online Database from the EPA [US Environmental Protection Agency] : The Bed Bug Product Search Tool (Approved Pesticides)

EPA has developed a search tool that can help you choose an EPA-registered bed bug product that meets your needs. You can search for a product by its:

  • Name
  • Company
  • EPA-registration number
  • Where you can use the pesticide
  • Pesticide type

The BedBug Search Tool allows one to search by area of the house (as bedroom) and options as type of product.

September 8, 2010 - Posted by | Consumer Health | ,

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