When Love Bites: Dating in the Age of Bed Bugs

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Experts Provide Advice on how to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home While Navigating the Dating World

A bed bug feeds on a couple's hands.

“In the past several months we have seen media coverage that promotes both hysteria and some questionable advice,” said White. “The fact is, when you are armed with good information, bed bugs should not negatively affect your social engagements.”

Bed bugs may suck, but your love life doesn’t have to. As bed bugs continue to spread across the country, so is the fear of bringing this pest home. The rules of social engagement are changing, especially in the dating world. BedBug Central’s entomologist Jeffrey White shares advice on how to enjoy dating while preventing bed bugs and paranoia.

In New York City alone, the number of bed bug complaints increased by 40 percent. Bed bug treatment sales in New York also saw an increase of 120 percent from 2009 to 2010.

This increase in activity has prompted some media outlets to share protection advice for dating singles that translated into hysteria, not prevention. No one should have to give up on love, and bed bugs aren’t dangerous enough to start ruling out dating interests.

White explained that while bed bug infestations are at an all time high, that doesn’t mean dating has to suffer due to this skeevy pest.

“In the past several months we have seen media coverage that promotes both hysteria and some questionable advice,” said White. “The fact is, when you are armed with good information, bed bugs should not negatively affect your social engagements.”

To help keep your love life pest free, we’ve listed some practical tips below to manage your bed bug fears and navigate the dating scene:

1.    Educating yourself on the basics: This is an important step in helping you and your date avoid this pest. Being familiar with what bed bugs look like and their behavior can help you identify this pest and avoid activities that can increase risk of exposure. BedBugs 101 is a great place to start for the basics.

2.    Know the signs of an infestation and bite symptoms: This can help you and your date identify risky situations sooner. Bites typically show up on the arms, legs and face. If you happen to see rows, clusters or bites, there may be reason to show concern. You will also want to know the immediate signs of an infestation, such as spotting marks bed bugs leave behind and skin casts. Click here for more info on signs and symptoms.

3.    Selecting a venue for your date: Understand that bed bugs are not restricted to certain public areas, you can encounter bed bugs anywhere. If you avoid going on dates to places like movie theaters, you are simply limiting the chances of experiencing a great night. Try carrying fewer items around when you plan to go out; carrying a clutch purse rather than bag will limit the items on which bed bugs can hitch a ride home.

4.    Keep things in perspective: While you can come into contact with bed bugs in public spaces, the chances of that happening are relatively slim. The best course of action is to stay vigilant.

5.    What to do if your date that has bed bugs: Don’t freak out, now is the time to showcase your best qualities by helping manage the issue and being supportive. Recommend they find good company to treat the problem; this is not a “do-it-yourself” situation. Refrain from feeding into the stigma that bed bugs are associated with people who have poor hygiene or limited money.

6.    Consider the source: There are a lot of websites offering information. As you research bed bugs, consider who is providing the information to ensure your getting the best advice.

If you take the time to arm yourself with good information, the next time you get bitten by the love bug, it can be a very good thing. For more information on bed bugs visit: http://www.bedbugcentral.com.

About Bed Bug Central

Bed Bug Central serves as the nation’s most authoritative information resource and website available to the public for information concerning bed bugs and bed bug related issues concerning health, prevention, and treatment methods. More information can be obtained at http://www.bedbugcentral.com.

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Calvin Allen
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