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Bed Bug Prevention Starts With Knowing Where They Hide

02/16/2016 04:44 EST | Updated 03/29/2017 01:33 EDT

Bed bugs. They're one of the worst house guests to have.

The tiny, flat dark insects can infest your bed, couch, clothes and blankets. They feed off of you and they have absolutely no intention of ever leaving you alone.

So what can you do to protect yourself? For starters you can brush up on your bed bug knowledge, because the best defence is a good offence. According to pest control company Orkin, bed bugs prefer dark spaces and reside close to where people and pets sleep — because they love our carbon dioxide almost as much as they love our blood.

In the slideshow below, we list 17 places that are susceptible to a bed bug infestation. The list includes many places and items that don't have beds, which are still high-risk areas due to crevices that make for great hiding spots.

If you think you've been bitten by beg bugs, take a closer look at your mattress and sheets, along with all the places listed. While the bugs are hard to spot in natural light, you can see them with the naked eye under a flashlight in the evening. Aside from seeing the insects themselves, bed bugs can also be identified by rust-coloured spots on sheets and mattresses that are a combination of your blood and their faeces. Shudder.

Once you have identified an infestation, the only way to get rid of it is to call in experts and toss whatever you can't wash.

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