Elder Care Tips: Dealing with Bed Bugs

Elder Care in Brighton, NY

Elder-Care-in-Brighton-NY“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” might have been something that your elderly loved ones said to you, and you may even say it to them or your own children now. It is an old saying and one that you likely have never put much thought into it. If a bed bug infestation becomes part of your elderly care journey with your aging parents, however, you might think twice about this little nighttime ritual.

Like most types of pests, many people have misconceptions about bed bugs, how infestations occur, and what you can do to get rid of them. Surveys have shown that many people believe they can only occur in lower-income houses, that they are attracted to dirty conditions, or that infestations only happen after people have stayed in a hotel. While these myths are disheartening enough, the truth about these tiny pests can be even more unnerving. Understanding bed bugs and how to control them can help you to feel more confident should you encounter them, and get rid of them quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
According to information gathered by the National Pest Management Association, some things that you should know about bed bugs include:

• These tiny pests are found most often in apartments and condominiums. The second most common location for bed bugs is single-family homes. Hotels and motels come in third

• Bed bugs can also be found in a wide variety of other places that you may visit with your aging loved ones, including hospitals, community centers, and offices

• Bed bugs are not a seasonal pests. That is, an infestation can occur at any time of the year

• Approximately 20 percent of the population has encountered a bed bug infestation

• Bed bug infestations occur with equal frequency in clean and unclean locations

• Adult bed bugs can go for more than a year without eating while young ones can go for several months, meaning that they can be hiding for some time before they actually come out and start causing problems

Bed bugs are fantastic hitchhikers. The most common way that infestations occur is the bugs getting into clothing or luggage when visiting an infested place, or existing in furniture or mattresses that are purchased second-hand. Adults bugs can be as large as an apple seed, while the hatchlings are tiny enough to comfortably crawl through the stitch holes in mattresses, which is why an infestation can be much larger than originally anticipated. Though bed bugs do not carry diseases, they can cause itchy, uncomfortable bites, which may cause your parents to scratch, making them vulnerable to skin irritation and injury as well as infection and illness caused by bacteria entering through compromised skin.
Some ways that you can get bed bugs under control if you notice them in your parents’ home include:

• Wash all linens in very hot water and immediately dry them in the hottest dryer possible

• Thoroughly vacuum the bed, including all crevices of the mattress, and the carpets, drapes, furniture, and other soft materials around the home. Change out the bag frequently and dispose of it in a plastic bag in a garbage can outside to prevent escapees

• Purchase mattress encasements that surround the mattress in a material that the bugs cannot get through. Leave these encasements on for a full year to allow bugs trapped within to die

• Though bed bugs are vulnerable to heat and cold, space heaters and household freezers are not enough. If the infestation persists, call a professional pest removal company to ensure your parents’ home is free from pests.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Brighton, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.