The Collingridge All-colour Guide to House Plants, Cacti & by William Davidson

By William Davidson

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The vacuum cleaner may have dealt Bed bug them a big blow, but they are by no means extinct. 22 BED BUGS We may think we are rid of them, like lice—until the next epidemic appears. After a blood meal, bed bugs are engorged to a rounded plumpness. ” Their shape, and tiny one-quarter-inch size, allows them to hide in narrow cracks and crevices behind wallpaper and picture frames, in windowsills, plaster cracks, or baseboards, or in the tufts and seams of mattresses. From there they march out at night in quest of a meal.

The webbing clothes moth is the most prevalent in our homes today. This moth spins itself a “feeding tube” right on the fabric it’s eating, incorporating little bits of the fabric. Besides clothing, it also feeds on carpeting, upholstered furniture, and even piano felts, which is another reason to practice the piano every day. The casemaking clothes moth carries its case with it wherever it 28 CLOTHES MOTHS AND CARPET BEETLES goes, like a little sleeping bag, by which it retains moisture. The tapestry moth attacks the coarser fabric of tapestries and carpets and can even eat horsehair and horn.

As with cockroaches, getting rid of bed bugs involves eliminating all cracks and crevices in a room by caulking, replastering, or painting. Since bed bugs can also migrate from birds or bats, eliminate all birds’ nests around the house and make sure you don’t have bats in the attic. Ants, especially pharaoh ants, will also eat bed bugs or their eggs, and spiders make wonderful bed bug predators. This seems only fair, because spiders have traditionally taken the blame for many a bed bug bite. People learned long ago that they got much more sympathy for a spider bite than for a bed bug bite.

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