Bed Bugs Are Coming Back, But Not Where You Might Expect
Who hasn’t heard the saying “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” at one point or another during their childhood? While the saying is very cute (it rhymes and everything), the saying is much more than a childhood fable, as bed bugs are actually making a comeback.
In the early part of the 1900s, the bed bug was a common problem here in North America, and these little pests were primarily exclusive to the slums and the dirtier areas of America & Canada. By the 1940s, the problem of bed bugs had all but disappeared and the only remnant of the bug was the famous saying that seemed to catch on with mothers and children alike.
Now, these blood sucking insects are making a comeback, but not where you might expect it! While bed bugs are indeed found in some of the low-budget motels in North America, they are also being found in some of the more expensive resorts in the States & Canada as well. Even worse, they are showing up in the homes of Americans from the low class to the middle class, and even within the walls of the ultra rich.
What are they?
Bed bugs are small insects that are a part of the Cimicidae family of pests, and they feed only on the blood of warm-blooded animals, typically at night. Their preferred choice of blood is human blood, but certain kinds of bed bugs have been known to go after family pets and even bats in some cases. The adults only grow to about a quarter of an inch in length, and they hide virtually anywhere, from a crack in the wall to the inside of your mattress.
Why are they coming back?
While it is not known exactly where the bed bugs are coming from, it is largely speculated that their return is due in part to the vast world travel that occurs these days. All it takes is for you to stay at a hotel either here or abroad that has a bed bug infestation, and they can be unwittingly transferred to your home via your suitcase or anything else of yours while you were away. Once they get into your home they set up shop, usually no more than 100 feet from your bed, and will feed on your blood without you even knowing about it. Bed bugs tend to feed on humans while they are asleep during the nighttime hours.
How do you know you are infested?
Detecting an infestation can be rather tricky. That’s because you don’t know that you have been the victim of a bed bug bite until sometime after the actual bite has occurred. When a bed bug feeds on your blood they inject two hollow feeding tubes into your skin. One will have an anesthetic and the other will be used to suck your blood. Because of the use of the anesthetic you won’t feel anything and therefore stay sleeping while the bed bug feeds for about five minutes before returning to its hiding place.
Tell tale signs
There are a couple of surefire ways to tell when you have bed bugs in your home. Bed bug bites look much like a mosquito bite, but bed bug welts tend to be in rows of three. This is either due to the bed bug repeatedly trying to find a blood vein to tap into, or from the bed bug being disturbed while feeding. Another telltale sign is little red spots on your sheets. These can be caused by a bad infestation in which multiple bed bugs are feeding on you at once. Or, as part of your normal sleeping habits, you may roll over, squashing some of the bed bugs into these blood stains.
How do you get rid of bed bugs?
Once you have determined that you have bed bugs, there a couple of steps you must perform in order to get rid of them. These steps include:
- Call a Pro: You will need to call a professional exterminator who has experience with bed bugs and have them come locate the source of the bed bugs and give your home a thorough treatment.
- Wash Your Bedding: Once bed bugs are discovered, you will need to wash all of your bedding and the pillows if they are machine washable. This will kill any bed bugs that may be hiding in the bedding or in the pillows themselves.
- Wrap The Mattress and Box Spring: Bed bugs like to stay close to their meal ticket, which is you. Many times they will hide inside of your mattress, your box spring, or both. You can purchase bed bug mattress protectors that are specifically designed to keep bed bugs out. These are different from regular mattress covers in that they will totally encapsulate the box spring and the mattress. They are typically made of vinyl and fabric, and some are even treated with pesticides that will harm the bed bug but not you. These covers are designed to keep new bed bugs out and old bed bugs in. Eventually those inside will die and your expensive bedding can be saved.
…And Stay Out!
Once you have totally rid your home of bed bugs, simply practice extra precautions to keep them away for good. If you do travel, be sure to clean and vacuum out your suitcase as soon as you arrive home. Also, be sure that all of the clothing that you took with you on the trip gets washed right away, not thrown into the hamper for a later washing. Even after you know the bed bugs are gone, it is still a good idea to keep your mattress and box springs covered with a complete bed bug proof set to protect from possible bed bug infestation, as it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Practice being hygienic and be vigilant while traveling. Keeping these nasty critters out of your home will help you and your family sleep tight without letting the bed bugs bite.
Measure A Bed For Sheets & Bedding
Knowing the right way to measure a bad can make all the difference when it comes to getting the perfect bedding set. However, knowing exactly how to measure correctly can be a challenge. Below you will find some tips, helping you to obtain an accurate measure of your bed skirt and fitted sheet.
Tips For Measuring For A Bed Skirt
- • Remember that skirts are designed to fit the box spring, not the mattress.
- • Measure bed from below your box spring to make sure in conforms to conventional sizes.
- • To order a bed skirt, you will need the drop measurement, which is length from the floor to the top of the box spring.
- • Take into consideration how different types of floor surfaces and carpeting can affect this measurement.
- • Standard drop length of a bed is 14″, while 18″ and 21″ are considered specialty sizes. ShopBedding.com stocks all these hard-to-find lengths.
- • Bed skirts come with either continuous corners, no split at the foot end corners, or with split corners, to accommodate beds with a footboard or other bed frame.
- • Even if the bed skirt you fall in love with doesn’t come ready-made with split corners, ShopBedding.com provides custom corner splitting so you get exactly the look you want.
- • In order to shorten any length for a custom fit, simply get the next size larger and tuck the skirt with pins to create the perfect drop length to fit your bed measure.
Tips For Measuring For Fitted Sheets & Mattress Covers
Fitted sheets and mattress covers are designed to fit securely over a mattress. With stitched gussets, as well as elastic at the corners and around the edge of the sheet, they provide a snug fit without bunching and shifting. When sheets are fitted correctly to the mattress pad, there will be no mattress bowing due to shortness in the gusset nor will there be too much looseness due to excess length in the gusset.
Below are tips for an accurate way to measure a bed for your fitted sheets or mattress cover order:
- • Measure the length and width of the mattress. Don’t guess or estimate!
- • Most mattresses are constructed with a thick corded piping around the top and bottom of the mattress. Do not measure from cord to cord. Instead, use your tape measure to begin your measurement at the top of the box spring. Then, place your hand on the mattress top and measure bed to it.
- • Round up depth measurements to the nearest inch.
- • Measurements include the size of the bed and the mattress depth, including any mattress pads, foam toppers, or other enhancers.
- • Keep in mind the fitted sheets will actually be slightly deeper than the mattress measurement you provide in order to give enough return under the mattress.•
The Problem & The Solution
Lots of us, especially those of us with kids, have some old, stained chairs in our homes. If you want to give your chair a makeover but don’t want to spend 50 dollars or more on a chair slipcover, never fear — in under an hour, you can transform a satin flat sheet into a beautiful slipcover worthy of Better Homes and Gardens. A fun, eye catching material, satin is great for adding a bit of pop to a den or bedroom. What’s more, because satin sheets already have seams, you don’t have to sew a thing – and that’s a great timesaver for us who have jobs but want to work on our homes as well.
Step By Step Intructions
First step: Use a measuring tape to determine the length, height and width of your seat to figure out how big of a sheet you will need. If you’re fixing up an armchair or loveseat, drape your sheet over the upholstery or cushions. Tuck the excess fabric into every nook and cranny. To secure it into place, stick rolled-up magazines or PVC pipes on top of the fabric. Finally, gather the excess fabric underneath the chair, out of sight and fasten securely with safety pins. If your chair isn’t upholstered, however, simply gather the excess material together at the upper back of your chair instead. Tie the material together in a loose, elegant bow. As a second option, you can also use a bit of shimmery organza ribbon to tie the excess material together. So there you have it — with just a little folding, pinning, and tying, you can create a luxurious, soft, satin chair slipcover that will give just about any room in your home a unique touch.
The End Product
Isn’t the above beautiful? If any of you ladies have some more easy decorating ideas, let us know in the comments below! Until then, I’m going to go scour the internet for more…
Overcoming the Cliche
Getting your loved one satin sheets for Valentine’s Day is one of the biggest clichés around. Still, for those of you who are looking for a fun, spicy, and romantic gift that gets you both into the Valentine’s day mood, satin sheets are not to be overlooked. Seriously – I think I wouldn’t stop smiling for days if my husband got me the sheets you see above!
Don’t get me wrong, guys – you still have to spring for at least a box of chocolates or a nice bouquet, but you’ll enjoy this addition more and more long after the chocolate is eaten and the flowers die. What’s more, it establishes the perfect setting in the one space reserved uniquely for you and your significant other only – the bedroom. Throw in some candles, a favorite movie, maybe some champagne, and voilà! A simple yet peaceful night in. This is especially important for couples, especially for those that have been together for a long time – daily life often gets in the way.
Strengthen Your Relationship
When each of you is always on the go, it can be hard for you and your significant other to spend time together without distractions. When you’re driving the kids from activity to activity, or working a hectic full-time schedule, there often just isn’t much room for those peaceful and intimate moments that are supposed to be a given when you live with someone. Those moments, although small, are very meaningful: cuddling on the bed, holding each other’s hands while watching TV, or simply talking and joking together out of earshot of your kids. This Valentine’s Day, with the help of all the cliché trimmings, you can make that easygoing intimacy a priority.
One Final Tip
Even the best laid plans can be spoiled with interference from the kids. Every so often, but especially on Valentine’s Day, get a babysitter and get away! One day, your older kids may even be able to watch their siblings for a reduced rate. In addition to enjoying your partner’s attention, you’ll also be able to get a few moments’ respite for your persistent headache
Beware Nighttime Snacks!
Before rummaging through the refrigerator for a late night snack, stop to consider your food choices – your body and brain will thank you in the morning. Just like certain foods are good or bad for your heart, so too are certain foods good or bad for your sleep cycle. The right morsel can send you happily off to dreamland, while the wrong one can keep you awake for hours on end.
Good choices include snacks that are rich in tryptophan, a substance that makes you drowsy and promotes sleep. These foods include:
- • anything in the dairy category, such as cheese and milk
- • nuts
- • bananas
- • honey
- • eggs
Giving into you carb cravings isn’t a bad idea either – carbs increase the amount of tryptophan to just the right proportions in your blood to help you drift off.
But whatever you do, don’t eat a heavy meal right before bed – stick to light snacks. A large amount of food sitting in your stomach will activate digestion, which may disrupt your drifting-off-to-dreamland process. One easy way to do this is by looking how much is left in the fridge when you’re done eating. If it started out full, and looks like this at the end, you may be doing it wrong!
Avoid Fats Like The Plague
What’s more, you should steer clear of foods high in fat as well, like burgers, steak, or French fries. Recent studies indicate that fatty foods disrupt sleep cycles, especially if eaten right before bed. So if you’re getting late night cravings, choose your nibbles wisely for a restful and successful night’s sleep.
This Sounded Familiar
You may have noticed that the advice here could just as easily have been found in a general diet article. Just like eating the right foods has other benefits, if you eat right, you’ll get more sleep and function better throughout the day.