PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Experts suspect that one of the big reasons for the spread of bed bugs in recent years has been that people have brought them home as they are travelling. With the summer travel season upon us, here are some tips to keep the bed bugs from biting.
When you go to a hotel, check the mattress, headboard and boxspring for bugs, blood or little black dots. Those dots could be bed bug feces. You can check your bag when you return from the trip, too, and put all your clothes in the dryer as a precaution. Extreme heat kills bed bugs.
Public health officials also say you should be very careful about accepting second hand furniture. Do not take mattresses or upholstered furniture that has been left out on the street. Bed bugs can burrow inside, and you won't know it.
There are also products that can monitor and prevent bed bugs. Special mattress covers can keep bed bugs out or trap those that are already inside a mattress. There are inexpensive plastic dishes called "interceptor cups" that you can place under the legs of furniture. Bed bugs can climb in, but they can't climb out.
You can learn more about bed bugs including prevention and treatment tips on the Environmental Protection Agency's website. Click here.