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What to do if your NYC apartment is infested with bedbugs –

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It's one of those very stereotypically "New York" health concerns that comes with living in the city bedbugs. Earlier this year, pest control company Terminix released its annual report on the cities with the highest rates of bedbug infestations in the United States. Philadelphia came in at number 1, followed by New York City, according to AM New York.

What exactly are they? Bedbugs are small brown insects that are barely perceptible to the human eye about the size of a tiny apple seed. They subsist on the blood of humans and animals, with their bodies swelling to a reddish tinge after they've been fed, according to WebMD. While they are not thought to transmit diseases, these creatures, which are generally found in major urban centers like New York, leave behind red and itchy welts after they've been feasting.

If left unattended to, these infestations can spread

While the thought of these small insects living on comforters, mattresses and pieces of furniture like cloth-covered sofas doesn't necessarily sound like that pressing a health concern, if left unattended to, these infestations can spread. The bugs can hitch a ride to other rooms of your apartment by way of clothing or the linen you bring from one room to the other, proliferating throughout your home. While the bites they leave behind heal, some can stay for weeks on end, and your constant scratching at the bites could lead to infection.

Beyond all of this, the presence of bedbugs can have a serious negative psychological effect on a person, causing intense anxiety and stress that didn't exist before the infestation.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports that, despite misconceptions, these creatures do not solely thrive in dirty homes unsanitary conditions do not create them and they can be found in the dwellings of rich and poor alike. They are incredibly resilient, able to live for months at a time without feeding. If the idea makes your skin crawl, exactly how do you combat these small home invaders?

Hire a licensed pest control company

The department of health says you should hire a licensed pest control company that will inspect your living space and properly apply the right pesticides to get rid of the insects. They suggest you check out this site to ensure the company is properly credentialed. After the company inspects the home and distributes the pesticides, they will generally provide you with a written report on where the infestation was and how to prevent future ones from happening.

One key point to think about with bedbugs is to ensure you avoid an infestation to begin with. Here are some official tips from the city:

Richard Abrazi is a healthcare executive dedicated to sharing resources regarding the importance of preventive care in everyone's life. Check out his blog, visit him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @richabrazi.

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What to do if your NYC apartment is infested with bedbugs -

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