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Tiny bed bugs can cause you big problems

The Northwestern Health Unit has embarked on a bed bugs education campaign to raise awareness about how these tiny bugs can cause big problems.

In 2011, the NHU received one-time funding under the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Public Health Unit Bed Bug Fund.

Part of the project was to collect information about bed bugs in the Kenora and Rainy River districts.

Results from this project show that bed bugs are in all of our communities, just as they are world-wide.

You can read a copy of the report at www.nwhu.on.ca

Adult bed bugs are a reddish-brown bug about the size of an apple seed. They usually come out and bite at night, and like to feed on the blood of humans and other mammals.

Even the cleanest homes can experience a bed bugs infestation, so it is important to know how to protect yourself.

“It is important to educate yourself about bed bugs so you know what to look for and how to protect yourself and your family,” said Valdine McEwen, a health promoter for the NHU.

The following strategies may help reduce the chances of bringing bed bugs into your home:

  • Perform a mini-inspection of your hotel room.

Check along seams of the mattress for reddish/black spotting or live bugs, as well as check behind picture frames and along the baseboards and the head board, and bedside tables.

  • Place your luggage on a luggage rack or hang your clothes in the closet.

Never put items in a hotel dresser, or leave them on the floor or on upholstered furniture.

  • Visually inspect your luggage and clothes before you leave a hotel room and before you bring them into your home.
  • If your luggage has been transported with other people’s luggage, it is important to inspect your belongings.

If you suspect exposure to bed bugs, dry clothing in the dryer at high heat for 30 minutes to kill all stages of the bed bug.

Vacuum your suitcase and immediately discard the vacuum bag in an outside garbage can.

Bed bugs can be prevented and controlled.

For all the bed bug information you need, visit bedbugsinfo.ca

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