There are lots of scary things out there, especially if you’re living in a big American city. Bed bugs, scabies, little crumbs that will keep you up all night like the Princess and the Pea. While I’m not advocating that you become a total hypochondriac/agoraphobe/clean freak/freak show. But if you want to keep creepy crawlies out of your sheets, we have a couple tips.
Get a mattress cover
A lot of people will tell you never to buy a used bed mattress. Lucky for them, they can afford a new bed every time they move! If that’s not an option for you, just get a bedbug-proof mattress cover. And make sure you put it on the mattress before you bring that thing in your house! You can do the same for box springs.
Seal holes and cracks
Pests can easily hide in cracks and holes in the baseboards and walls of your room. Before they get a chance, seal them up. It’s an annoying way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but not as annoying as trying to eradicate an entire colony of insects for weeks without sleep.
Be careful when traveling
Travel is a very popular way for little monsters to get from one bed to another. You probably won’t see bedbugs themselves—if you do, run for it—but you might see the little brown stains they leave when they defecate. If you do encounter bugs while traveling, don’t take anything into the house with you when you get home; instead, fumigate and/or dry everything you have on high heat. Bag up your luggage and clothing until you can take care of it.
Watch who you sleep with
Scabies especially is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, so if you know a someone has scabies, ummm, stay away for a bit? That’s NOT to say you should ostracize your friends when they’re suffering, because people with bugs have enough horrors without extra shame. But do avoid sleepovers in a bed where you might take something unwelcome home.
Recognize the signs
You want to catch bedbugs or scabies early—but especially bedbugs, before they breed. You should know exactly what a bedbug looks like and what its marks look like, too. The bites are good giveaways, and can be distinguished from mosquito or spider bites. Scabies manifest as a rash, and you might have to see a doctor to identify it for sure.
Don’t worry too much
Now that you know a reasonable amount about keeping your bed bug-free, try not to worry too much. Don’t you know that stress is bad for your health? I have friends who obsess over every little bite, and that itself decreases quality of life. Be careful, know the risks, but then…go out and live your life. Travel! Stay in hotels! Hang out with people without questioning them about their scratching habits!
Have you ever had to deal with bed bugs before? Have any horror stories of your own? How did you fix them? We want to hear all about them on Facebook!
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