Q: I brought my 11-year-old son in, and you told me he had bed bug bites.  I looked carefully, and in his bed there are these tiny little black bugs.  I tried some insecticide that I bought.  They got better for a while, but they are as bad as ever.  Any different ideas?

A: Bed bugs are bugs that feed on blood from us.  They have the name because they hide in bedding and mattresses.  Bud bugs are not known to spread disease.   Itching is usually the problem.  Kids usually scratch hard enough to break the skin, with subsequent infection.  The bites may cause an allergy as well, which will cause swelling around the bite.  The bugs can also get in cracks and crevices in the room and lay their eggs anywhere, including clothes and furniture.  If you us insecticides, make sure the label says it is for bed bugs.  You may have to use it more than one time. Also, vacuum frequently and empty the vacuum after each use.  Launder anything that may have bugs.  Drying in a dryer on a hot setting will kill the bedbugs.  The best way to treat bedbugs is to use a professional pest company.  They use pesticides specifically made to kill the bugs and their eggs.

Dr. Rick Casey

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