BED BUGS: GET THEM OUT AND KEEP THEM OUT
Have you ever had that feeling that you are not alone on your bed at all? That there are more eyes observing you as you sleep? That once you close your eyes and set off for dreamland, Some hungry and thirsty bloodsuckers could pounce on you?
No, we are not talking about vampires here. That could be for another article. We will talk about the much more dreaded insect, the bed bug.
Bed bugs are more than just nuisance pests that bite you at night. They are considered high health risks by U.S. government agencies, like the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Bed bugs as health risks
Bed bugs have now emerged as a top health hazard in the United States. It has become a major problem that has been detrimental to the health of many Americans. The problem is, it is not only physical, but it also affects us mentally. Even though they do not transmit diseases, much like mosquitoes, cockroaches, and flies do, they present so many health risks to us that it is already hard to ignore the bed bugs.
Some of you may think, well it is just one bite. The effects, however, go beyond the physical; there are psychological effects as well, and it is giving America so many sleepless nights. Bed bugs are reported to have caused insomnia, stress, and depression.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can be caused by psychological and medical conditions, abnormal sleep habits, a specific substance, and certain biological factors. Then, as in this case, environmental factors like a noisy neighbor, gadgets, and of course, bed bugs. Knowing that a bed bug is just on the same bed you are sleeping on is definitely going to affect a person’s sleep pattern. They will find it difficult to sleep, and if they do, they would not be able to sleep for long.
Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep; waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep; feeling fatigued or tired throughout the day; irritability; not being productive throughout the day; not being able to focus at work; and stress and depression. If the cause of a person’s insomnia is the presence of bed bugs, then the obvious treatment is to get rid of the bed bugs, which we will tackle later in this article. Treatment of insomnia on any other cases that are not caused by bed bugs includes relaxation training. Relaxation training would involve reducing the tension and relaxing the muscles; over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids can help induce sleep; behavioral therapy with a psychologist or a psychiatrist who have specialized training may help; train yourself to use the bedroom for sleep and sex only, while other activities like relaxing before sleep can be done in another room.
Being deprived of sleep constantly results in stress. It is defined as “a physical, mental, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental factor in disease causation.”
Many people react differently to pressures from the environment. While some people are gifted enough to handle stress in a graceful and proper way, many succumb to its ill effects. Stress, after all, is a natural reaction to pressure. Anything can actually trigger stress; from something as simple as household chores, our daily workloads, traffic, or planning what to cook for dinner. There may be more serious concerns, like the loss of a loved one. Bed bugs, which can cause insomnia, may most probably lead to stress.
There are many signs and symptoms of stress. These are headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, neck ache, backache, cold and sweaty hands or feet, constipation, diarrhea, either feeling of wanting to eat more or loss of diet, frequent urination, diminished sexual desire, anxiety, and depression.
The effects of bed bug infestation can even lead to depression, as with what happened in some cases.
The feelings of sadness and loneliness are normal human emotions. However, there are some people who experience this at an intense level. This is depression. Depression is a serious medical condition, one that needs professional care.
There are many signs and symptoms of depression. A person with depression can feel extreme sadness, extreme unhappiness, irritability, frustration, disappointment, and loss of self-confidence. People who are depressed withdraw even from close family and friends; they do not go anywhere outside their rooms; fail to take a bath; sleep all day, and do not get anything done. Physically, you would notice several changes, like looking tired the whole day, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and significant weight loss or weight gain.
If left untreated, depression may lead to serious family problems, substance abuse, and even suicide.
Physically, bed bug bites can cause plenty of damages too. Some people tend to have an allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis to the bed bug bites can lead to anaphylactic shock, which is fatal.
Loss of friends/ Social isolation
One overlooked effects of having bed bugs in your house is being isolated from friends and social groups. Kids at school may make fun of your kid, after seeing so many bed bug bites on your child’s skin. People might stop going to your house because of the bed bugs, or prevent their kids from visiting your home.
Now that you know why it is important to get these bed bugs out and to keep them out, let us find out a little bit more about bed bugs. After all, we should always know our enemies in order to beat them.
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that suck on human and animal blood for their nourishment. They are reddish brown in color, with flat bodies, their size is from 1 mm to 7 mm in length. They are oval in shape and are the size of an apple seed. However, their tiny bodies swell and turn red after feeding.
Signs that you have bed bugs at home
One obvious sign that you have bed bugs at home is the bite marks on your skin that were not there the night you slept. Bed bugs can manage to give you bite marks on a straight line on your skin. However, these marks usually do not turn up until after 1 to 2 weeks. That is why it is important to look for other signs of their presence. These signs include a sweet musty odor on your bed; blood-filled fecal matter excreted on your mattress; exoskeletons from the bed bugs after molting; and actually seeing bed bugs in the folds of the mattresses.
How do we get bed bugs?
Bed bugs usually hitchhike through the luggage carried by people as they travel. They enter our homes via other means too, like latching themselves to old clothes, used sofas, used beds or bed frames, and other used items. Their bodies are so slim that they fit into small spaces in our houses and can stay there for a very long time. Their favorite hiding places aside from the mattresses are bed frames, headboards, and box springs. Frequent travelers who sleep in many different sleeping quarters might chance upon an infested area, where he could pick up some bed bugs, which he could carry home with him.
If bitten by a bed bug…
Bed bugs actually heal on their own. But for immediate relief, apply an ice pack on the bite areas. Do not use ice directly though. To soothe pain and swelling, run cold water on your skin. You may also use soap to clean the area. You may also try apple cider vinegar. Put a small amount into a cotton ball and apply it on the affected area and soak in for a few minutes. Then rinse with soap and water.
Bed bugs are really terrible to have around the house. We do not have to live with these bed bugs. To get rid of them, try the services of the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Simply the best in North Carolina
If you have pest problems at home, it is but natural that we would want to get rid of them as soon as possible. DIY’s might work, but only for some time. To be sure, call the best pest control management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control is a family-owned company that has excellent experience in pest extermination, pests like bed bugs, termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and mice. They have friendly professionals who are highly skilled and well-trained, using state of the art equipment only. They also employ family friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination, so you are assured of your family’s safety.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses here in North Carolina for more than 50 years. Just check us on Google and Facebook. For more information, or to set an appointment, just call 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.