Home: Don't Let Them Bite!

If you think bedbugs are nibbling you in the night, you're not alone. Calls to specialists about the bloodsuckers have increased 63 percent since 2000. How to get rid of them:

Zap! You'll need a pest-control company to identify the problem. But if they say you have bedbugs, ask to see eggs (smaller than a piece of rice) or shed skin to make sure they exist. "If they can't show them to you, you shouldn't have treatment," says Cindy Mannes of the National Pest Management Association.

Sleep easy. You only need to throw away your bed if it has visible tears. Otherwise, vacuum your mattress, floors and furniture. Toss the bag, so the bedbugs don't come back.

Nothing to wear? You can dry-clean, but that might not kill the eggs, which are "surrounded by a mucus material," says Frank Meek at Orkin. He recommends washing in water 135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Ramin Setoodeh

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