What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny oval insects that mainly feed on the blood of humans and animals. These insects are brownish to red in color and they do not have wings. Their mode of ambulation are their legs and can walk for quite a distance. Their prominent description is that they are very good hitchhikers. They can stowaway into a person’s luggage, clothes, and anything they can possibly hitch a ride on. Thus making them very efficient pests because they can travel with ease. They can move quickly along floors, carpets, walls, wood frames and towards the ceiling.
The female can lay up to 600 eggs in a single lifetime. All they do and are capable of is to feed, sleep, mate and multiply as long as there is a very favorable host around.
Where do they come from?
Bed bugs have been discovered way back to the Ancient Roman period where they have been infesting households then spread throughout Asia and then Europe. They made their way to America through ships and boats.
Where do they hide?
Their favorite refuge are cracks, crevices, drawers, drawers, shelves and even books. As long as they are close to their host, they will find perfect shelters. They have been found underneath the bed, mattresses and carpets inside the bedroom. Their small bodies allow them to squeeze into tiny spaces. They do not make nests or form a colony like other insects. As long as they have access to their hosts, they will have an easy life.
Do they bite?
Yes they do. Their main source of food is your blood. They feed on you by drawing blood from you using their long beak. They are mainly inactive during the day so the chances of spotting one when the sun is out are slim. That is why they are nocturnal feeders. They do not want you to disturb their feeding time.
Does their bite hurt?
Initially their bite does not hurt because they inject a certain hormone on the site. The painless bite afterwards becomes itchy. They feed on your blood until they are full then they scurry back home to their holes unnoticed. It takes them 4-5 days until they feed again.
Do they spread diseases?
Bed bugs have not been known to spread diseases but their bite can be very itchy. Depending on the person bitten, the bites then become small blisters and when scratched, may cause certain allergies and infection. Although there have been reports that their bites can cause fatigue and fever.
How to treat bites?
Using creams and lotions to stop the itching may help. Antiseptics and over the counter medication are also helpful.
What are the signs and symptoms of an infestation?
- The first signs of an infestation are the bite marks. But you should not be confused with the other insects’ bites. Particularly, the bed bugs’ bite forms a pattern – they may be linear or clustered.
- Blood stains on your bed and pillows also can be identified as a bed bug infestation.
- A certain musty odor from their scent glands is very noticeable.
- Bed bug fecal material, egg shells, and even shed skins can be found around your bed or in places where they hide
- And of course if you spot one or two bed bugs, then it is time for an intervention
How do we eliminate them?
- First and foremost you have to identify if there is really a bed bug infestation. Confirm their presence by making a checklist of the signs and symptoms. By then you can determine and prepare the steps to get rid of them. Check your surroundings, in and out of your bedroom. Especially the bed. Start by looking for bed bug evidence inside books, bedside tables and electrical cables.
- Clean your beddings, linens and all cloth material inside the bedroom. Immerse them in hot water or place them inside a heater. If the other items can be placed inside the heater, you can also do so.
- Heat treatment is one of the main control solutions to get rid of bed bugs. Bed bug heat treatment is widely used in Sacramento CA.
- Vacuum your mattress and the surrounding frame and area. Dispose properly of the vacuum cleaner bag outside your house.
- Check and clean your bed frame and fix cracks and crevices with glue.
- Declutter and throw away garbage
How do you get infested?
Bed bugs can come from a variety of sources. Always check around your area and neighbors and see to it if they are also having bed bug problems. Bringing in things and objects especially second hand items can be a good bedbug mode of transport. They can hitchhike rides in clothes, bags, furniture and other animate objects. They travel from one room to another with ease, especially in hotels and apartments. Always remember to clean your things before entering your home after traveling. Inspect the furniture you bring in, especially sofas and pillows.
Once they arrive in their new surroundings, their first task is to find a hiding place and a favorable host. Their main purpose in life is to feed and multiply. It wont take a lot of time before they already have increased their numbers.
Should you use pesticides?
Unless the pesticides are rated that their effectiveness is backed up by reviews and companies, yes. They may not be effective because bed bugs have already acquired immunity against certain chemicals. Just remember to wear safety equipment while using these chemicals. Remember to read the labels carefully and follow the instructions on the pesticide’s literature print. Bed bug home treatment using pesticides are controlled by US EPA Registration numbers on their labels.
Do you need a professional exterminator?
Hiring a pest control company also needs considerations. Always make sure that they have extensive experience when dealing with bedbugs. Not only having experience, check the background of the company if it is registered and has a license to back up their claims
The key things to remember when eliminating bed bugs is time, consistency and persistence. It may be time consuming and exhausting not to mention costly. To save time and effort, always remember that bed bugs are more of a convenience than a health hazard. Proper techniques to control and vigilance can keep you free from these bloodsucker infestations.