University of Maryland Professor on Preventing Bed Bugs

Though your first instinct after traveling may be to unpack and put your belongings away, a University of Maryland entomologist suggests tossing your clothes in the dryer to prevent bed bugs from making your bed their new home.

A new international study found the bed bugs who bite humans evolved from bugs who fed on bats 250,000 years ago.

"Bed bugs are becoming resistant to some of our most potent insecticides," Michael Raupp, a professor at University of Maryland, said.

Raupp added the spread of bed bugs is also due to globalization, used furniture sales and international travel.

"People are moving around more and they're coming in contact with bed bugs in different places," Raupp said. 

If you want to make sure you're not bringing any bugs home, the first thing you should do after a trip is place your clothes in the dryer on medium heat for about 30 minutes.

"It's going to kill every living stage of a bed bug," Raupp said.

Raupp suggests checking behind the headboard of a bed for bugs or rust-colored stains.

"When you travel, take a look at that mattress. I always toss the bed when I get there, pull up the sheets," he explained.

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