(HealthDay News) -- Bed bugs can hide in furniture, luggage and clothing, causing itchy, painful bites.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests how to help prevent bed bug infestations:

  • Carefully inspect any secondhand couches, beds and other furniture for signs of bed bugs.
  • Protect any mattress and box spring with a cover. Make sure it is of good quality and light in color, Remember to inspect it frequently for tears and bed bugs.
  • Cut down on clutter throughout your home to provide fewer areas for bed bugs to hide.
  • If staying in a hotel, keep luggage up on racks, not on the floor.
  • Inspect hotel mattresses and headboards carefully.
  • When you return from a trip, put clothing directly into the washing machine. Carefully check luggage for bed bugs.
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