Ask an Expert: Hull Dermatology 'Bedbugs'

All the bedbug reports in the media have me nervous about traveling for my job. Is there a way to make sure I can avoid bedbugs?

"Bed bugs feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They're spread by hitching a ride in luggage or other materials that are taken during travel and are brought back to the home. Contrary to popular belief, having a bed bug infestation is not necessarily determined by the cleanliness of the environment. The bugs hide during the day, in places such as the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks and crevices, behind wall paper, and around any objects that are found near where people or animals sleep, usually within 8 feet of the bed. Fortunately, bed bugs do not spread diseases like mosquitoes or ticks. Not everyone that is bitten by bed bugs has symptoms, but signs of bites include itchy bumps and bite marks on the skin, blood spots on the bedding or furniture near beds, visible exoskeletons from bug molting, and a sweet musty odor in the room. If you find that you have these symptoms, treatments can include applying anti-itch creams and anesthetics to the skin, along with antihistamines by mouth. To get rid of an infestation, you must contact your landlord or a pest control company that experienced in treating bed bugs," said Dr. Tom Lambert.

For more information on bed bugs check out this information from the Centers for Disease Control

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