6 HOLISTIC WAYS TO HELP KEEP YOUR HOLIDAYS BED BUGS-FREE
Soon, it will be Memorial Day, a day to celebrate and remember America’s war heroes. For many Americans, this will also be a time to pack up their things, check their vehicles if they are in good condition, and turn on their Waze apps, if not the old school maps of course.
I should know; this is after all, what I am planning to do this coming Memorial Day holiday. The kids are excited, the wife is excited, and I am excited! One of the things the kids look forward to when traveling is the hotel stay. There is just this something about hotel stays that make them happy.
So while the kids will be in the hotel enjoying to their heart’s content, my job as a parent would be to ensure that they will be well-fed and safe. There was this one trip three years ago when we found a couple of cockroaches inside the closet of the hotel we stayed in. This year, I will still be on the lookout for this creepy crawlies.
Then there is this common horror story about people staying in a bed bug infested hotel rooms. While waking up with visible bite marks are never part of our plans this holiday, it is still very much possible; bed bug problems have been increasing over the years, and what we thought as immaculate these hotel rooms are is not really always the case. These bed bugs are very good hitchhikers. They can hitch a ride on our clothes, luggage, or any other things that they can latch on. And before we know it, we already have bed bugs to accompany us every night in bed. Experts agree that the sudden rise in the population of the bed bugs is directly related to the increase in travel among Americans.
But what are bed bugs exactly? Are they dangerous to us humans? Do they transmit diseases? If so, what are these diseases? Stay with me for a while as we tackle the bed bugs.
Bed bugs are small insects that feed solely on human and animal blood. They are oval shaped and brown in color. They have flat bodies the size of an apple seed that swell and become red each time they have a blood meal. They are not capable of flying. In its lifetime, the female bed bugs lay over a hundred eggs.
Bed bugs are health risks
While it is important to note that bed bugs do not transmit diseases much like the mosquitoes, cockroaches, and mice, it does not mean they are less dangerous than those previously mentioned. However, government agencies namely the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control all consider bed bugs as high health risks. They cause public health issues and can surely ruin our holidays, be it at home, or in a 5-star hotel.
Bed bugs can cause such mental problems like stress, depression, insomnia, and lack of self-confidence. This is aside from the fact that they leave us with bite marks that are extremely itchy and can even cause allergies.
Here are the reasons why bed bugs can easily ruin our holidays:
- Their bites cause allergic reactions. Not all people can withstand bed bug bites. People respond differently to it. Most people just feel itchiness that will go away in a few days, but some people do have allergic reactions to it. These allergic reactions could lead to severe anaphylaxis, which could be fatal.
- Insomnia. People who know that they have bed bugs around that will not be able to sleep soundly. Lack of sleep will always be a health risk, and will always affect you at work or whatever you do during the day. Productivity would decrease, which may risk job security and relationship with colleagues, friends, and family members.
- Skin infections. Impetigo, lymphangitis, and many more. These are some of the skin infections we are at risk for. If left unchecked, these can result in more severe problems.
- Stress. When a person is stressed, he or she may have headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, backache, neck pains, muscle aches, anxiety, and even depression.
- Depression – In many extreme cases, the effect of bed bugs can lead to depression. A person with depression can be described as someone who has extreme sadness. He is unable to function. The person with depression also becomes socially withdrawn, avoiding contact with friends and loved ones.
- Social isolation – People with bed bugs become socially withdrawn, their self-confidence disappears. When friends find out that you have bed bugs, they avoid you like the plague.
Signs of bed bugs
Bed bugs prefer to live in mattresses, headboards, near the bed’s piping, at the seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and cracks on the bed frame. When infestation is heavy, bed bugs may be found even at the seams of the chairs, couches, electrical receptacles, appliances, drawer joints, and under loose wallpapers.
When you inspect your mattresses, you may find red spots that are caused by the bed bugs being crushed. You may also find small dark spots which are actually bed bug feces. Another sign, of course, is you might find some of the bed bugs themselves with your naked eyes.
Bed bug bites are grouped together in a linear or zigzag appearance on the skin. These bites appear like small, flat, or raised areas on the arms, legs, face, shoulders, hands, or neck. The bites may appear after 7 to 14 days after the bite; they do not appear immediately after being bitten, so we should not wait for bed bug bites to appear to be convinced that there are bed bugs in your home.
Making your home free from bed bugs during the holidays
- Use diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is made up of diatoms. Diatoms are fossilized remains of small, aquatic organisms. They have skeletons that are made up of silica. Diatomaceous earth is not poisonous to humans but dangerous to insects. It is abrasive, like little shards of glass. It can be used against pests such as bed bugs, spiders, ants, termites, cockroaches, and fleas. Sprinkle some of these on areas where you see bed bugs. When the bed bug crawls on it, the diatomaceous earth can cause tiny little cuts on their bodies. This absorbs the oils and fats from the cuticles of the bed bug’s exoskeleton. This effectively kills them. Diatomaceous earth will be very effective as long as it is not disturbed and remains dry. You may purchase this at a local gardening store near you. Choose “Food Grade” diatomaceous earth.
- Wash your beddings with hot, soapy water. Dry on high cycle as heat can kill bed bugs. After washing, place the beddings in sealed plastic bins to protect them from being infested by termites.
- Use a vacuum cleaner at least once a week. This is very effective in weeding out the bed bugs. Vacuum everything made out of fibers, like mattresses, curtains, carpets, and items that are upholstered. After vacuuming, remember to throw away the bag outside the house so that the bed bugs would not be able to return. Put inside a plastic bag to seal it.
- If you have items that are heavily infested, like sofas, mattresses, or even the bed itself, do not attempt to save any longer. Throw it away. It may seem costly, but it is for the greater good. It is better to buy new ones. Put a sign that it has bed bugs so that other people would not have to re-use it. Make arrangements with the garbage collector to have it picked up as soon as possible.
- Try using essential oils. The most effective essential oils are lavender, mint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and citronella. Rub some of these onto your bed frame. Then, using a spray bottle, add a few drops of the oil onto a half a cup of water. You can spray these onto your mattresses, beddings, carpet, and linen.
- Use double-sided tape. This can trap the bed bugs and prevent them from reaching your bed. Place the tape on the underside of the bed, near its legs. They will never know what hit them. Just be sure your blankets or any part of it would be kept off the floor, or else the bed bugs may still reach them.
Or you may call the best pest expert in Jamestown
If you are simply overwhelmed by the presence of these bed bugs, and they are starting to ruin your holidays, you may call the best pest experts in Jamestown NC. Let Go-Forth Pest Control handle your bed bug problems.
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned business with excellent experience in pest extermination. No one beats the quality of their service and their professionalism. You may check their Facebook page or Google them to see what their customers have to say about them.
If you have any questions about these pests, or if you want to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.