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In recent years, the bed bug population has increased dramatically raising concerns among the CDC and other regulatory organizations. Though bed bugs do not transmit disease, they can cause severe skin irritation and reproduce rapidly if not contained. Increased concern has arisen surrounding the control of bed bugs as exposure to toxic chemicals is having adverse health effects on some people.
Bed bugs feed on blood once every 4-5 days. These insects lie within mattresses, couches, rugs, and other related hiding places in the home. Identification includes checking sheets and upholstery for blood stains and shed skins, as well as an offensive musty odor. The CDC and EPA have advised people to check for signs of bed bugs in their homes and be sure to clean and vacuum frequently. Affected cloths should be washed in hot water and/or dried in high heat to get rid of the pests and their eggs. Of particular importance is making sure that any second hand items are checked before being brought into the home, and items containing bed bugs should not be given to anyone else for use. In addition, some areas of the country have seen bed bugs inhabiting movie theater seating and clothing stores.
Recently, due to increased proliferation, many insecticides are being applied to help control the spread of bed bugs. This has led to adverse health affects and has even been documented to be the cause of death for some individuals. It is important to find products that will not be toxic for humans, and always be sure apply chemicals as directed on the label. The CDC and EPA are raising awareness about the increasing bed bug population and are urging individuals to check, contain, and exterminate. Be mindful while selecting chemically based products and to follow recommended practices for reducing exposure to harmful agents.
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