My son has bug bites in a line down the side of his chest. I also found some red spots on the sheets. I think I saw a little brown bug in his luggage, but I lost sight of it.How small can bed bugs be?
Maria Shepherd, Arlington
Oh no, it sounds like you might have unwanted houseguests! Bedbugs can be a big problem, primarily because it is so challenging to get rid of them.
If you want to know how small can bed bugs be, the answer is that they are quite tiny. To illustrate, their egg shells are about 1mm in size. But, an adult bed bug might reach the size of an apple seed.
How do bed bugs start invading your home? Often, you bring them in yourself without being aware that you are doing it. Bedbugs easily travel on clothing and on luggage that has traveled with you from other locations.
It sounds like you are describing an encounter with bed bugs, but a professional exterminator could tell you for sure. Since it can be difficult to get rid of bed bugs, you might want to hire a service to do it for you.
In the meantime, there are things you can do to curtail an infestation and protect your son. Wash all his bedding in hot water and dry them on high in the dryer. High heat kills bed bugs, so you can also use a steam cleaner to treat his mattress, box spring, and furniture.
If you use a vacuum to clean all the nooks and crannies in his room, be sure to dump the bag outside the house. Then thoroughly clean out the vacuum to make sure all the bugs and their eggs are gone.
Finally, make sure no bedding touches the floor or other things like curtains or nightstands. And get his luggage out of the house. If you plan to keep it, wrap it tightly in plastic for at least a year to starve any bugs inside.
If you, at some point, decide to purchase a pre-owned mattress, it will be very important to check it first for bed bugs. A cheaper price in this instance will lead to more headaches. If there are no bedbugs on the mattress, you still need to know how to clean a used mattress before you use it. There are many DIY recipes that you can use to remove stains and odor, and get your “new to you” mattress nice and fresh so it’s ready to sleep on.
For the bedbug issue, some people have tried tricks like placing double-sided tape on the legs of their bed frame to trap bed bugs. Others use natural repellents like tea tree oil, lavender, and eucalyptus. You can read about all the home remedies for bed bugs in this guide.
Best wishes for a bug-free home as soon as possible.