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The Healthy Back Store
(240) 297-1850


BELSTVILLE, MARYLAND, 8/31/11 - Infestations of bed bugs are on the rise across the United States, often hitching rides on the backs of more and more global travelers across borders and from cities into less populated areas. Bed bug related calls to pest control operators are escalating at a fantastic rate, and their inconspicuousness and ability to survive have allowed them to infiltrate anywhere from bedrooms to movie theaters to buses. The Healthy Back Store, a specialty retailer providing high-end ergonomic comfort solutions, reminds the traveler just heading out and the traveler just returning home to take precautions.

Bed bugs have been dubbed the ‘perfect parasite’ because “they bite you while you’re sleeping and those bites are painless,” says entomologist Michael Potter who works at the University of Kentucky and specializes in pest management. Perhaps equally important to their nuisance is what bed bugs avoid doing; they do not stay on the host after a bite, they often hide in far from obvious locations, they do not spread disease like many ticks and mosquitoes, and symptoms of their bites take days to appear, making it difficult to detect an infestation until it is too late.

While the bed bug problem continues to grow, it is increasingly difficult to effectively deal with infestations. Unfortunately methods like fumigation or steam cleaning are rarely effective and often expensive. Because bed bugs have been around for so long, many have evolved a resistance to most pesticides. Since it is so difficult to combat these bugs, experts agree that taking precautions to avoid an initial invasion is key.

Since hotels are the number one source of bed bug infestation, research before choosing where to stay on your next vacation or business trip. Specifically, check out customer ratings. If a hotel has bed bug problems people will most likely mention it online. When first arriving at the hotel room, perform a quick inspection; pull back the sheets and look at the mattress and box springs. Also check in the upholstered furniture and the drawers of the nightstand. Bed bugs are experts at hiding and one is more likely to see blood smears on sheets, the bugs fecal matter (which looks like pepper spray) or bed bug casings and skin that they have shed (a bed bug will shed its skin five times before reaching full size).

To avoid transporting bed bugs back home or to another location, never set luggage on the floor, bed or any upholstered surface. Put luggage on the luggage rack, but keep it away from the walls. Avoid unpacking into drawers and always keep suitcases closed. When leaving the hotel, inspect luggage and clothing. If its possible items have been contaminated, seal clothing in a separate plastic bag so that it can be cleaned and treated separately. And finally, vacuum all luggage and bags and wash all cloths even if they weren’t worn.

At home, prevention methods can include freeing rooms from clutter, sealing open cracks and crevices and using non-chemical pesticides in un-sealable cracks. If bed bugs are discovered at home, immediately remove the mattress and vacuum the entire area. Consider purchasing a mattress protector and or a pillow protector. These low cost items can assist in thwarting infestations and help maintain a clean, infestation-free mattress and pillow.

While there is no one magic cure for bed bugs, sufficient caution and vigilance is the best way to prevent infestations from happening. Especially important is taking the time to check for bed bugs when you travel and when heading home after travel. Visit or a Healthy Back Store location for mattress and pillow protectors, along with other products designed to aid in preventing a bed bug infestation.

Healthy Back Store is a specialty retailer that provides high-end comfort solutions and ergonomic products for back pain and other physical conditions. Healthy Back has 23 stores in 6 states across the United States and also sells through its website and call center, making it the largest privately owned back care retailer.