The Bedbug Chronicles

They're really icky, but they're not a health risk.

The Bedbug Chronicles

They’re really icky, but they’re not a health risk.

-Jane Farrell

Worried woman

Like everyone else, we were truly grossed out when we heard that Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Victoria’s Secret had to close some stores because of a bedbug infestation. (Especially Victoria’s Secret. We really didn’t want to think too much about that.)

And the attacks aren’t confined to stores: the latest victim is the Hachette Book Group, whose midtown Manhattan office was closed this week as exterminators finished their treatment, according to

The bedbug population is on the rise throughout the country as well, with calls to exterminators up about 71 percent, according to AOL. But the good news is that the little darlings don’t pose any health risk to us.

Read Moms’ Biggest Health Problems

They don’t spread disease, so they’re not considered a public-health problem, according to AOL. The most you can get is some itchy red welts on your skin, and some people have a kind of allergic reaction.

The biggest risk, according to the website, is to your state of mind. Having an infestation of bedbugs means cleaning everything in the affected room, including mattresses and sheets, or having to throw them away outright. And exterminators’ treatments can cost thousands of dollars.

Plus no one likes the idea of the bugs crawling across their face or up their arms while they sleep. Experts say bedbugs come out at night and like to bite exposed skin.

To guard against the bugs, which are often transmitted during international travel, AOL suggests that you avoid putting your luggage on your bed, and place it in a large plastic bag for protection. You should also inspect your sheets for red or brown spots.

Good advice. In fact, we’re thinking of bringing a magnifying glass on our next vacation. (AOL, The Real Deal )

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.

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