Mangano And Nassau County Bed Bug Task Force Offer Prevention Tips To Combat Bed Bugs

With bed bugs known to spike between the months of July and September, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the Nassau County Bed Bug Task Force today offered educational tips on preventing and controlling the spread of bed bugs. Bed Bug task force

County Executive Mangano stated, “While bed bugs are not known to carry disease, they significantly affect people’s quality-of-life. To help reduce the problem of bed bugs and to protect yourself and your family, I encourage families and seniors to take precautions and implement prevention tips.”

Bed bugs are small, flat insects that are reddish-brown in color and approximately one-quarter inch long, before feeding (about the size and shape of a apple seed). Bed bugs do not fly or jump, but they can crawl rapidly. They hide during the day on beds (mattress seams, box springs, bedframes headboards) and in cracks and crevices of walls, floors and furniture. Bed bugs most commonly enter hotels or residences by “hitching” a ride in luggage, purses, backpacks or other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces. Bed bugs are not known to spread any diseases to humans.

The key to preventing the spread of bed bugs is to know what they look like, where they can be picked up, and how to inspect and protect yourself. It may not be possible to avoid picking up a bed bug in your daily life. This is because although bed bugs are not everywhere, they could be anywhere, and are usually hidden out of sight. Know what bed bugs look like. Understand that only a mated adult female bed bug can create an infestation. Although they can bite, the other life stages are dead ends. Adult females are visible, so learn how to inspect your belongings and clothing, including your purse, book bags, coat, shoes and even your pants. Focus on the seams of each item, carefully looking for a stray bed bug. Know, also, if you are in a bed bug prone area.

Some additional precautions for everyday life:

  • Know if it’s a possibility that you have been exposed. For example, visiting nurses attend to many people during their workdays. They should be especially alert to bed bugs.
  • Check your hotel or dormitory room bed carefully. Look for bugs and the signs of infestation. If you find something, let management know and insist on moving to another room.
  • Avoid buying or scavenging used furniture, if possible. If you must go with used furniture, carefully inspect each item with a good flashlight.
  • If you’ve encountered bed bugs, you will want to avoid bringing them home. Place all your clothing, coat, shoes, and bags into a plastic bag that is sealed until all items can be placed into a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.

For additional information on bed bugs, visit the Nassau County Bed Bug Task Force website at: http://nassaucountyny.gov/bedbugs