Pest control experts say that a few basic precautions can reduce the risk of bedbug infestation. Among the recommendations:
*Avoid buying used furniture, or picking up discarded furniture or mattresses from streets or dumpsters.
*Don't set your bag or purse on the floor when you're sitting in a movie theater, clinic or other crowded places. Keep it in your lap, instead.
*When staying in hotels, check mattresses and luggage racks for the reddish-brown insects. Also check for dark fecal spots on sheets and mattresses, as bedbugs often retreat to other areas during the day.
*Place your luggage away from beds and walls in hotel rooms.
*Check your skin for itchy, red bumps, particularly on your arms, neck, or other exposed areas.
*Contact your landlord or an exterminator immediately if you suspect that bedbugs have entered your home. Bedbugs can spread quickly, and early intervention could reduce the cost of extermination.