For many years, we didn't need to worry about a lot of the common pets that plagued our grandparents and great-grandparents because the DDT insecticides that were regularly sprayed on crops and in forests to keep the disease-carrying mosquito problem down also eliminated these insect pests. However, with DDT having been phased out of common usage, many of these pests are coming back to haunt us - including that old menace the bed bug.

Many people think that buying an upscale condo unit or booking into a five star hotel means they won't have to deal with bed bugs, because modern conveniences somehow make it impossible to survive. This is a myth. Bed bugs can easily live inside the walls of any building and are particularly difficult to get rid of, even with fumigation. Therefore never assume that your accommodations are so clean that you don't need to worry about bed bugs. Cleanliness is not a factor.

Bed bugs are small insects that are the approximate size, shape, and color of apple seeds. They can live in various places throughout the infested building and homes, including in the mattress seams, inside framed pictures and headboards, in smoke alarms, in the curtains, in electrical sockets and phone jacks. Anywhere warm that they can find and have access to. They crawl out and feed on people while they are sleeping because they're attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide.

To avoid booking into a location that may have bed bugs, always check independent review sites such as Trip Advisor, for reports by other guests. Never trust the hotel's website. Once you are in the room, you can perform a bed bug check by checking the mattress for dark stains that result from bed bug waste. If you wake up with itchy red spots on your shoulders, arms, and legs, this can also be an indication of bedbugs.

Unfortunately, it is possible to carry bed bugs home from an infested hotel or resort bed. Bed bugs can also travel in second hand mattresses, sofas, and bedding, so many thrift stores have stopped taking these items. The more heavily traveled an area and the more people live in the building, the greater the risks are. Therefore heavily traveled urban areas like New York City and Toronto are more likely to have this problem than rural areas.


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