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Sleep Tight, and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

You would think with all the modern advances in sanitation, hygeine and cleaning agents that an epidemic of bed bugs would not be making the evening news. Yet sure enough, these little bugs known officially as Cimex lectularis are making a strong comeback. In the 1940’s bed bugs were nearly erradicated in the developed world. Yet thanks to international travel and awareness of the toxicity of previously used insecticides they are back with a vengenance.

Knowing your enemy is critical to avoid bringing something home from your next vacation or business trip. First and foremost, these “critters” are small. Adult Bed Bugs measure a mere 4-5 mm in length and 1.5-3 mm wide with flat reddish brown bodies. So, they are hard to see. Signs of infestations other than getting bit include dark excrement stains left where they hide, and molted skins of Nymphs. Before climbing into bed, pull back the sheets all the way to the foot of the bed, look at the pillows and if you are really venturesome take off the fitted sheet on the mattress. Who knows what you might find.

But why all the precaution?
If you think about the number of people that sleep in a hotel bed over the course of a year, the statistics start stacking against you. Working with the 365 days in a year, and with an assumption of a 3 day stay for the average guest (single occupancy), that means 120 individuals have slept in your bed assuming single occupancy. That really puts things into perspective, particularly when combined with the fact that an adult Bed Bug can survive for over a year.

So once you check the bed sheets you are fine, right? Nope! They can literally crawl from the bed to a chair, couch or just hang out in the carpet where you place your suitcase. They love to hide along seams and headboards near their source of food, that being you.

So whats the big deal? Bed bugs can cause allergic reactions, can cause painful welts and very importantly they drink blood. So, the big question is whether or not they can transmit diseases. The official opinion shared with the public is probably not, but realistically as a clinician we know that a simple stick with a needle in ones office can transmit very deadly diseases. All I can say, is I error on the side of caution, I know I don’t want the same “bed bug beak” injected into me after nibbling on people for upwards of a year. Pretty scarey!

Bottomline: Before counting sheep, it is important to make sure you don’t count bed bugs first. If you have any concern at all about the room you have, error on the side of caution and ask for another room. Not only can this help you from getting bit, it can help you from not destroying your home. If you bring bed bugs home, you can infest your house which means that you will have to potentially discard furniture, bedding, etc. or use professional strength toxic substances in an effort to reclaim your prize possessions. Indeed a few moments of caution can really pay off.

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Health Tips On the Go!

Improve Posture

  • 1.Avoid slouching. Be aware of your posture as you walk, sit, and drive, keep shoulders squared and head pulled back and up.

  • 2.Imagine a thread pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Visualization can help improve your sense of position.

  • 3.If your job requires you to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to stand, stretch and shake it out.

  • 4.Maintain a strong core to help support proper posture. Add core-training exercises to your daily routine.

  • 5.A firm mattress and ergonomic pillow help achieve proper back support while you sleep, so you'll stand straighter in the a.m.

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