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How to prevent a bedbug infestation, and what to do if you get one

Institute for Clinical Pathology & Medical Research; Reuters January 19, 2010

Avoiding bedbugs:

-Inspect hotel or hostel rooms for bedbugs or their signs when travelling.
-Inspect luggage and clothes before returning home. If you suspect bedbugs, keep your luggage and clothing in a sealed plastic container until it can be washed.
-Vacuum regularly, especially around the bed.
-Consider using a sealed plastic mattress cover (available at most department stores).
-Do not pick up secondhand furniture, especially beds, from the curb. If you buy secondhand furniture, inspect it carefully.

How to detect bedbugs:

-Inspect mattresses and box springs, especially around seams and corners.
-Look for blood spots on sheets, small black smears (droppings), or shed bug skins.
-Bedbugs are most active about an hour before dawn. To see them, keep a flashlight in easy reach of your bed. Don’t -move too much, as that will startle the bugs, but shine the light along mattress seams and baseboards.

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