Tuesday, August 02, 2011
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Bedbugs have feasted on sleeping humans for thousands of years. Although bedbugs were eradicated from most developed countries after World War II, they are again becoming a problem. The August issue of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers a few simple steps to minimize the risk of bringing bedbugs home.
Bedbugs are more common in high-traffic environments such as hotels, apartment buildings, dormitories, office buildings, movie theaters and even libraries. Bedbugs don't care if the environment is clean or dirty. As long as they can find a hiding place and a warm host, they are comfortable almost anywhere.
Mature bedbugs are reddish brown, oval and flat, about the size of an apple seed. Newly hatched bedbugs are smaller, nearly colorless and hard to spot. During the day, bedbugs hide. They emerge to feed when humans sleep or sit still.
Here are tips to help keep bedbugs at bay:
Some people have no reaction to bedbug bites, while others experience an allergic reaction that can include severe itching, blisters or hives. Redness and itching usually go away on their own within a week or two. There's no evidence that bedbugs transmit disease to humans.
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