Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite.
Bedbugs have been staging a nationwide comeback -- and Utah is not immune.
The best way to stop them? Prevention, say local health officials.
"Stop them at the doorstep because, once they get inside your house, you're going to have a real problem on your hands," said Frank Carlsen, environmental health specialist with the Weber-Morgan Health Department.
Bedbugs travel well and will hitch a ride on your clothing, in your suitcase or even on your backpack, Carlsen said.
If you will be traveling or staying in a hotel, you need to be vigilant about checking your items before coming home to make sure none of the tiny bloodsuckers made their way onto any of your items.
The same rule applies with clothing you have ordered from a catalog or furniture you've recently purchased, especially if it was shipped in from another country.
"They can literally be brought in from anywhere," Carlsen said.
"One woman in New York City went to a movie theater and came out with over 300 bites on her back. International travel has had a lot to do with the recent epidemic around the country. People just need to be cautious in public places."
If you know of someone who has had a bedbug problem, don't go to their home, Carlsen said. Stay away until they have resolved the issue.
"(Bedbugs) don't jump or fly, but they move very fast," he said.
There has been an increase in bedbugs in Weber and Morgan counties, but not at an alarming rate, Carlsen said. In Davis County, one apartment complex was recently affected.
"We had an apartment complex in Clearfield that had bedbugs awhile back," said Dave Spence, environmental health director for the Davis County Health Department.
"The bugs spread from one apartment to four. Ten years ago, you never really heard about bedbugs around here at all."
Bedbugs have flat, reddish-brown-colored oval bodies about the size of an apple seed, Carlsen said. They survive on blood, and after they feast, they leave blood spots on bedding, furniture or clothing.
"They cause a distinctive welt after they bite," he said. "A lot of people don't feel the bite because they inject an anesthetic that will prevent you from slapping them."
Bedbugs don't discriminate, Spence said. They'll make themselves welcome in a spotless home as fast as they will in a dirty home.
"Most people think they will only be found inside an unclean environment, but that's not true at all," he said.
"They're comfortable just about anywhere, and they can survive for a long time. The only good thing about this is that they don't carry any known diseases. They're just very annoying."
And resilient. Carlsen and Spence said once you have bedbugs, they are extremely difficult to exterminate.
"They can live for a long time," Spence said. "They will find places to hide, too, like in your mattress, box springs, baseboards, couches, electrical sockets. But by all means, don't try to get rid of them yourself. Call in a professional."
In the meantime, if you wash and dry your clothing and bedding in high heat, that will kill the bugs.
"Don't spray them. That won't work," Spence said. "Washing and drying in temperatures of at least 120 degrees for at least 20 minutes should kill them and their eggs. But don't assume that will be the end of them. You need to call an expert."
Neither health department will treat for bedbugs, so looking in the Yellow Pages for an experienced exterminator is the best route to take.
"You can also get a lot of information about bedbugs on the Internet," Spence said. "The more you know, the better off you will be."