(HealthDay News) -- Bedbugs feed on human blood, leaving annoying itchy bites in their wake. They may hide in places such as in and around the bed, in crevices behind chair and couch cushions, and in the folds of curtains.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers these suggestions to help prevent bedbugs:

  • If you're accepting secondhand furniture, carefully inspect it for bedbugs before bringing it home.
  • Encase box springs and mattresses in protective covers. Inspect the covers often to look for holes.
  • Clean up clutter in your home to give bedbugs fewer hiding spots.
  • When coming home from a trip, unpack your suitcase straight into the washing machine. Also inspect luggage.
  • When in a hotel, keep suitcases on luggage racks rather than the floor. Inspect the room for bedbugs, which are brown, oval-shaped, and 1/4 inch to 3/8 inches long.