FIGHTING BED BUGS? KNOW HOW THEY LOOK LIKE
We all have probably heard of bed bugs – those horrible, blood-sucking insects that have caused many sleepless nights among Americans. Millions of people have felt them, yet may have not seen them. When we are faced with a bed bug infestation, we naturally would want to act fast and get rid of them. Unfortunately, not many of us know how to start, it can really be quite overwhelming to have these unwelcome visitors around the house. The best way to start would be knowing what bed bugs look like. If you know this, plus knowing their habits and characteristics, would give you a headstart when fighting off these nasty bloodsuckers.
To put things in perspective as to why all these seemingly rushed approach to getting rid of these pests, bed bugs are a high health risk, as described to 3 government agencies in the United States. These government agencies are the Center for Disease Control, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency. To add insult to injury, these high health risk pests spread very quickly. Once they spread, it would be very difficult to stop them. Acting swiftly than would be the only sensible way to go as far as bed bug infestation is concerned.
Bed bugs were once thought to have vanished
Bed bugs were said to have been introduced in the United States during the 1800s via ships traveling from different countries. Once here in the U.S., they spread quickly, victimizing many American homes throughout the early 1900s.
During the mid-1900s, advances made in the field of pest control made it very difficult for the bed bugs to survive. Eventually, they were entirely wiped out, and people stopped having to worry about these nasty bloodsuckers again.
That is, until the 1990s.
Since the 1990s, bed bugs have seen a sudden resurgence, and are even stronger than ever. They are much more resilient to pesticides. They spread much faster from one country to another due to better means of travel. Joint research made by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestation continues at a high rate. They have also found that these pests have become more devastating and problematic now more than ever.
When it comes to pest control professionals, they reported that more than 90 percent of the customers they served were all about bed bug problems. There is also an increase in locations; areas, where there used to be no bed bug infestation problems now, have them. Most of these calls happened in the summer.
There are many reasons why these bed bugs came back. Travel has always been one of the main reasons for its spread. Now that most Americans are traveling more than ever, they get to pick up bed bugs along the way. Even 5-star hotels have them.
A lack of understanding of how to control bed bugs is also a reason. Most people are still not familiar with the bed bugs because it almost like a new phenomenon to them. Lack of good household management is another contributor to this problem. Modern homes give the bed bugs an ideal environment to thrive what with central heating, which bed bugs really love.
In other words, they are back and fiercer than ever!
Anatomy of a bed bug
An adult bed bug is about 4 to 5 mm in length. We can say they are about the size of an Appleseed and are brown in color. They have flat bodies. After a blood meal, they bloat and turn red. They have compound eyes, meaning one large eye contains many repeating units called ommatidia. This makes them sensitive to movements around them.
They have a proboscis, a small tube tucked under their mouths which elongates when the bed bug is ready to feed. This tube injects an enzyme that prevents blood to clot.
Bed bugs have short and broadheads attached to the thorax. Attached to their heads is the antennae. The antennae have 4 segments. The function of the antennae is to guide the bed bugs to their hosts.
They have wings but do not fly. Their wings are not fully developed. They have abdomens that expand after a blood meal. The male’s abdomen has a pointed tip, while the female has a rounded tip. Attached to the thorax, they have 6 legs that allow them to crawl quickly. They have claws that they use to hold on to their hosts or to grip rough surfaces. They cannot crawl smooth surfaces, however.
Bed bugs are dangerous to your health
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects. They bite humans just right when they are defenseless: asleep. Their bites are very itchy and painful, though you do not feel them biting you as you sleep. Their bites appear in a straight pattern, which actually can be embarrassing for people to see.
The negative effects of bed bugs go beyond the physical. Bed bug bites are actually nothing compared to the other effects they have on people. As we mentioned above, bed bugs are high health risks. This is mainly due to the psychological effects bed bugs have on many people. Bed bugs are known to cause several mental illnesses such as anxiety, insomnia, social isolation, stress, and even depression. Fortunately, bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but that obviously does not make them any less dangerous.
Signs to look out for to know if you have bed bugs
Early detection is critical when it comes to bed bugs. You will have to act quickly. It would be very hard to control them once they start to multiply since female adult bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs. Now you know what bed bugs look like, you can easily recognize one if you see it.
One indicator of the presence of bed bugs in your home includes red stains on your mattresses as a result of the bed bugs being crushed as you turn to move around your bed while you sleep. Another is if you smell a sweet, musty scent on your bed. Bed bugs release such scents.
If you spot dark spots on your mattress, these might be bed bug feces. And of course, seeing actual bed bugs means there are probably more of them in your house.
Unfortunately, you cannot count on bed bug marks as indicators. Bed bug bites do not appear until after 1 to 2 weeks after the bite, in which case it would be too late.
You may find bed bugs in the seams of mattresses, chairs, couches, and cushions. They might also be in the folds of curtains, electrical receptacles, appliances, in the cracks of the bed frame, and the headboard.
There are some simple ways you can do to stop the bed bugs from spreading. Here are a few tips:
- You may get some diatomaceous earth from a local gardening store near you and sprinkle around areas where bed bugs might frequent. Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossilized remains of diatoms. It looks like tiny shards of broken glass, capable of inflicting cuts on the bodies of bed bugs, causing them to bleed to death. Make sure diatomaceous earth is kept dry, otherwise it would lose its effectiveness. Sprinkle on chairs, couches, cushions, in the folds of curtains, electrical receptacles, appliances, in the cracks of the bed frame, and the headboard.
- Seal cracks, openings, and holes around the house. These areas of the house may be used as hiding places by the bed bugs.
- If your furniture has bed bugs, do not throw it away just yet. Try to salvage it by sprinkling diatomaceous earth, or by a vacuum cleaner. If you cannot save it anymore, take it outside to be thrown away. Place a signboard that says “Bed Bugs” so that no one else would use it.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of these pests on your bed, couch, sofas, furniture, and other areas you see the bed bugs. After that, seal the bag and throw it away immediately.
- Wash infested bedding and clothes at 60 degrees centigrade and put them in a dryer and set it to a high temperature for 30 minutes in order to kill the bed bugs, eggs, and nymphs of the bed bugs.
After doing your best, and you still have these unwanted pests in your house, be sure to contact the best exterminator for bedroom bedbugs, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Finding the best pest control management is important if you want to completely eradicate these troublesome pests in your home safely and efficiently. For their pest control needs, people from North and South Carolina trust only one name: Go-Forth Pest Control.
Go-Forth Pest Control has excellent experience in exterminating pests like bed bugs, mosquitoes, fleas, rats, mice, poisonous spiders, wasps, termites, ants, roaches, weevils, and moths. We have been at it since 1959, so you can really count on our expert professionals to get the job done.